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HOA Documents: 6 myths debunked and secrets to easier management

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Knowing what documents you need and learning how to effectively manage them will prevent governing rules from becoming stale, helping you build the foundation of a thriving HOA community.

In this article, we’ll cover what HOA documents you need and the misconceptions regarding HOA documents—and tips on how to effectively manage them with technology.

Technology partner: Want to see how to automate your resale documentation process—and add to your reserves—with HomeWiseDocs? Request a demo.

What HOA Documents Should You Be Aware Of?

Let’s start with a quick explainer of the most typical HOA documents. If you already manage HOAs, this will be a bit of a refresher..

CC&Rs: Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions

CC&Rs specify the homeowner’s responsibilities and obligations to uphold and enhance the value of the HOA community. Although CC&Rs differ among HOAs, they ultimately dictate what activities are and are not permissible in and around their residence.

Articles of Incorporation

Also referred to as “the articles,” the Articles of Incorporation is the official document naming the HOA as a legal entity, defining it as a nonprofit and mutual-benefit corporation. 

Association Board Bylaws

The Bylaws govern how the HOA board operates and how decisions are made. Usually, bylaws are legally enforceable and legally binding.

Rules and Regulations

The Rules and Regulations (R&R) document outlines how day-to-day operations are conducted. There will be overlap between CC&Rs and the R&R document, but the R&R should be both lengthier and more specific. 

Financial Documentation

Financial documentation enables the HOA to operate transparently and accurately. They establish the financial status of the HOA, documenting the cash coming in and out. 

Resale Packages

A resale package provides all the legally necessary information and disclosures a buyer needs before purchasing a property, including a resale certificate and governing documents..

Purchase and Sale Documents 

There are also specific purchase and sale documents if you’re agreeing to buy or sell an HOA property, which you can learn more about in our guide on the topic. 

6 Misconceptions About HOA Documents

Now that we’ve covered all the documents you need to successfully run your HOA, let’s look at the most common misconceptions about HOA governing documents that you may not have known about.

Myth #1: All HOA Documents Are Created Equal

What happens if a dispute arises and two HOA documents have conflicting language? HOAs can establish a hierarchy of governing documents to indicate which have precedence over others. Conflicts in provisions are very common, which is why it’s important to clear any rules that may be interpreted differently amongst the board. 

Myth #2: HOA Management Requires a Lot of Paperwork

While we’ve listed a ton of different documents required to manage an HOA, you can minimize the time spent keeping them in order with the right technology. Enforcing rules and regulations, keeping track of finances, and addressing resident complaints can all be simplified with an HOA management software.

Buildium, for example, lets you organize and share an unlimited number of documents with board members and owners , including everything from financial details and bylaws to meeting notes and minutes.  You can also use Buildium’s mobile app to access and send important files and updates from any device. 

Myth #3: Managing HOA Documents Online Is Unsafe

Writing and drafting HOA documents is not enough—you have to ensure they’re stored securely in one, easily accessible place. Having an effective file management system that is both encrypted and password-protected allows you to keep your HOA documents online, stress-free. 

Myth #4: Association Managers Have No Say in HOA Rules and Documentation

As trusted partners, association managers ultimately play a critical role in upholding the HOA’s regulations. It’s an imperative so that managers can effectively advise the board on compliance with HOA rules and enforce them. 

Myth #5: Keeping Document Management Out-of-Sight, Out-of-Mind for Board Members Is a Good Idea

Association managers should be responsible for handling the day-to-day document management and establish an effective system to organize them. The process—and the tools you use for management—should be transparent and accessible to all board members, so they can reference the necessary documents quickly  should a conflict arise. 

Myth #6: Handling HOA Documents During a Purchase, Sale, or Refinancing Is a Huge Hassle

No two HOAs are created equal, which can make the process of purchasing, selling, or refinancing extremely daunting. HOA agreements can be up to 300 pages long, and how these agreements are organized provides insight into how well the HOA is run.

A tech solution like HomeWiseDocs makes the complex and time-consuming process of organizing key documents easy, by providing a system that simplifies the processing, delivery, and record retention to streamline an otherwise time-consuming part of association management.

Whether it’s tracking income and expenses or tracking violations, HOA technology can streamline your operations from the ground up. Easily create and maintain budgets, improve financial planning, and instantly get the data you need to improve your business.

Keep these three areas in mind when searching for the right software. If you’re ready to start managing your HOA documents more efficiently, take a look at what HomeWiseDocs has to offer and request a demo.

HOMEWISEDOCS®: A REALPAGE COMPANY

HomeWiseDocs, a RealPage company, brings automation, organization, and speed to time-consuming association documentation requests. Disclosures, lender questionnaires, and refinancing processes can now all be easily streamlined through HomeWiseDocs’ online platform. With millions of homes managed throughout the US, HomeWiseDocs is the industry-leading solution for property management businesses and self-managed associations alike.