Board Member Basics: Learn the Language of Your Association

At FirstService Residential we specialize in partnering with you for an exceptional living experience. If you have been recently elected to your association board, or have questions surrounding roles of a community manager, below are a few key terms that will help you gain some insight about language used to describe Texas community associations.
 
  • What role does a community or association manager hold?
Community or association managers oversee the association’s daily management and operations. They work in partnership with the board to help enforce rules, regulations and board-approved guidelines. They may also be responsible for operational tasks, hospitality, maintenance of common areas and other administrative or financial tasks depending on the community’s needs.
 
  • What are governing documents?
Governing documents is a catch-all phrase, but it may include Declarations of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CCRs) , Bylaws, Rules and Regulations or Articles of Incorporation.
 
  • What are articles of incorporation?
The Articles of Incorporation legally establish the association. They outline purpose, detail the structure of your board and are usually filed with the state, depending on the legal requirements where you live.
 
  • How do bylaws impact you?
These guidelines outline the rules of an association. They often delineate board membership and voting requirements, meeting and community election procedures and the responsibilities of being a board member. Bylaws vary from association to association and can be voted on or modified by the board depending on the individual needs of community.
 
  • What are assessments or association fees?
Most associations are funded by assessment fees. Every member pays a pre-determined amount annually to cover their portion. These funds go towards maintaining the community. The costs may include shared amenities such as pools, tennis courts or fitness centers, but also include other services such as building security, landscaping, recycling and upgrading common areas. These fees may also cover administrative or operational costs, taxes and much more.
 
  • What is a special assessment?
A special assessment occurs when there is a project or undertaking that requires additional funds. This includes maintenance outside regular operational costs. Though they are generally tied to a singular instance, they may be paid in installments.
 
  • What differentiates a common area from a limited common area?
A common area is space shared by all members in the community and is maintained and cared for by the association. This could include a lounge, pool, gym, tennis courts, or even landscaped areas. A limited common area is reserved for individual owners and could include patios or exterior decks. Although this is maintained by the association, it is usually reserved for the use of the owner.
 
  • What is a quorum?
A quorum is a minimum number of people required to be present to hold an official meeting and conduct business. Quorum requirements are generally outlined in the governing documents or bylaws.
 
  • What are board resolutions?

A board resolution is an agreement adopted by association members that follows an established format. Resolutions include regulations and rules centered around policy, administrative matters, violations and routine operations.


If you haven't yet downloaded our free checklist "9 Annual Tasks for Boards" , now would be a great time to check it out - simply fill in the form! For more information about how FirstService Residential can partner with your Texas community association contact us HERE

 


Download our checklist, Annual Tasks for Boards, for 9 action items that your board should be certain to complete every year!