As a member of your homeowners association, when you bought a home in your community, you should have received copies of all the Association's governing documents—including the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&RS) and Rules & Regulations—prior to or at the closing of escrow. The CC&Rs explain what the homeowners association is responsible for and what the homeowner is responsible for.
Sometimes these documents get lost among all the other papers owners receive at closing. Many homebuyers are so involved moving into their new homes, they don’t take the time to read all the fine print. This is a big mistake! Do the homeowners in your Association know where their Association documents are?
Copies should be provided to every homeowner
All homeowners have a right to these documents. If owners do not have copies for any reason, they should let the HOA board or the management company know so that they can be supplied as soon as possible. A fee may be charged to print and provide these documents. Also, owners should make sure to provide, at the very least, a copy of the Rules & Regulations to each new renter in their unit.
Of course, it is the responsibility of the owner to provide the homeowners association with a current address and phone number (particularly non-resident owners). This enables the Association to meet the obligation to provide all owners with information from the association.
Every homeowner should read the copies provided
It is very important to have copies of the governing documents on hand because an owner is expected to know and comply with all Rules & Regulations of the community. Owners will also want to stay informed by reading all materials and communications provided by the Association.
It is the responsibility of the Association to make these documents—the Bylaws and the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (or CC&R's)—as understandable as possible. If there is anything an owner does not understand, they should be encouraged to contact the HOA board or manager for clarification. They should be able to clarify any confusing language or give the owner other materials that can answer their questions.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse! Encourage your membership to not only make sure they have a copy of homeowners association documents, but also to read them. You need access to them more than you think!