As a property manager or Homeowner Association, you have a lot of responsibilities. You need to keep residents safe, ensure that they maintain their properties and are aware of all of their responsibilities among other things. While residents living in community association have many obligations, they also have their rights.
Are you aware of the liberties your residents have? If you’re not sure or just need a recap, we’ve summarized an article about Resident Bill of Rights by Jeffrey Rembaum below.
- The right to receive at least 48 hours notice of board and certain committee meetings inclusive of an agenda of the items to be addressed;
- The right to receive at least 14 days notice of annual and special members’ meetings and any meeting at which the board will consider a special assessment, and rules pertaining to a condominium unit or HOA lot use;
- The right to receive as a condominium unit owner the appropriate notice for committee meetings where the committee will take final action on behalf of the board or make recommendations to the board regarding the budget; and the right as a homeowners association lot owner to receive the appropriate notice for committee meetings where a final decision will be made regarding the expenditure of association funds or where the committee will make decisions regarding architectural decisions with respect to specific parcel of residential property owned by a member of the community;
- The right to address the board on each and every agenda item, subject to reasonable rules adopted by the board;
- The right to record board and member meetings subject to reasonable restrictions;
- The right to receive at least 14 days prior notice of any hearing where consideration of a fine may be levied against you for failing to abide by the associations governing documents;
- The right to vote for the board so long as you are not delinquent greater than 90 days in any monetary obligation due to the association;
- The right to use the common areas and common elements of the association so long as you are not delinquent greater than 90 days in any monetary obligation due to the association;
- The right to inspect the association’s official records subject to the reasonable rules adopted by the association;
- The right to vote for recall of any existing board member;
- The right to run for the Board of Directors so long as you are not delinquent greater than 90 days in any monetary obligation to the association and are not a convicted felon whose rights have not been restored for at least five years;
- The right to receive certain financial records as it relates to the association;
- The right to exclusive use of your unit or lot, as the case may be;
- The right to participate in the decision of whether the association should bring certain lawsuits;
- The right to express your opinions free from “SLAPP” lawsuits. Basically, SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) lawsuits are used to silence critics by invoking fear and increasing legal costs, which often leads to the abandonment of the criticism.
The rights of residents are important and it is essential you thoroughly understand them to ensure that you, as well as your residents, are protected. Living harmoniously in a community is best achieved when everyone from residents to association leaders understand both their rights and their responsibilities, so read up and give yourself a refresher course every once in a while. Knowing not only your privileges, but also those of residents shows that you care about the community, as well as the people living in it. Remember, a harmonious community is a happy community, so take the extra effort to make sure you’re doing your job correctly, as well as doing what’s right for your residents.