AMENDING DEED RESTRICTIONS
Whether your subdivision needs additional funding, more control over community development and aesthetics, or simply to modernize and simplify existing deed restrictions, the basic process to amend deed restrictions is the same. First, the community should identify what the purpose is in amending the deed restrictions. Second, the community should garner support for the amendments. Lastly, the community should determine which process is applicable to amend the deed restrictions. [Read More]
BOARD MEMBERS: ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
A Property Owners Association (POA) is a non-profit corporation and is usually managed by a board of directors. Under Texas law, directors are required to discharge their duties in good faith, with ordinary care, and in a manner the director reasonably believes to be in the best interest of the POA. The board of directors for a POA usually consists of community volunteers who are elected by homeowners at the annual meeting. [Read More]
COLLECTING DELIQUENT ASSESSMENTS
Assessments are essential to the continuing financial viability of a Property Owners Association (POA). However, for a variety of reasons, many homeowners fail to pay their assessments. Sensitivity is required because these debtors are friends and neighbors. Nevertheless, if sending out late notices, imposing late fees, and demand letters from the POA’s attorney is not working, then formal legal action may be required. It is important to consult with an attorney regarding the options available.
Our law firm will work with your association on an individual basis to determine the process that will fit your neighborhood. Below are the common litigation tools available to POAs in collecting delinquent assessments. [Read More]
COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION FAQs ANSWERED
Texas law requires a Property Owners Association (POA) to file a management certificate. The management certificate must be filed in the property records to be effective and must be amended within 30 days if any of the required information in the certificate has changed. The certificate must include: [Read More]
Incessant dog barking is a serious and common nuisance in many neighborhoods. The POA may be able to intervene and fine the dog owner under a nuisance provision in the association’s deed restrictions. [Read More]
EFFECTIVE BOARD MEETINGS
Board members carry many responsibilities; chief among them is making tough decisions. Oftentimes they must make unpopular decisions and emotions tend to flare over controversial issues. They also must make mundane, but nonetheless important decisions regarding community finances and community infrastructure. All these decisions take place at board member meetings. It is therefore important for board meetings to occur in a professional and organized environment. There are three keys to holding an effective board meeting: 1) preparation, 2) a good agenda, and 3) useful minutes. [Read More]
ENFORCEMENT OF DEED RESTRICTIONS
Deed restrictions (DRs) are rules that govern the use of land and form the basis for Property Owners Association’s (POA) governing power. DRs are filed in the real property records and designed to keep the neighborhood attractive and to protect resale values. In order for DRs to be effective, they must be fairly and consistently enforced. [Read More]
Neighborhoods are not static. Maintenance projects, capital projects, and expiring contracts all need to be addressed by the association’s board of directors. Under Texas law, an association’s board of directors has the ability to make contracts and incur liabilities relating to the operation of the subdivision and the property owners' association, as well as regulate the use, maintenance, repair, replacement, modification, and appearance of the subdivision. The board also has the power to make additional improvements as a part of the common area. [Read More]
SELECTING A MANAGEMENT COMPANY
Selecting the right management company is essential to the success of a Property Owners Association (POA). A well-managed community can increase homeowners’ property values; whereas a poorly managed community can do the opposite. Due to the importance of finding a management company that meets the needs of the POA, the search itself is time-consuming and costly. The board of directors must execute the search with due diligence. Consulting with an attorney and other professionals throughout the process will help the board of directors meet their responsibilities. [Read More]
SPEEDING IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
Speeding is a common problem in associations and creates a dangerous environment for residents who want to feel safe in their community. Joggers, children playing, pet walkers and other motorists are imperiled by speeding. The measures an association may take to reduce speeding in its community depend on whether the streets are private or public. If private, then the association may fine owners according to its Deed Restrictions. If public, then the police are primarily responsible for enforcing posted speed limits. Below are some actions the association can take to reduce speeding in both private and public streets: [Read More]
TEXAS OPEN MEETING LAW
The Texas legislature has recently passed new law affecting Texas POAs. These changes are designed to provide greater transparency in the operation of POAs. Among the many new changes, regular and special board meetings must be open to homeowners and notice must be given of these meetings.
Open Meeting law does not apply to all situations. Therefore, it is important to consult with your association’s attorney to determine when your POA is subject to the new requirements. For example social gatherings are not subject to the new requirements. [Read More]
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