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Introduction – The Importance of Education/Orientation

Owners and residents can maximize the benefits of living in or owning property in a common interest community or HOA by better understanding the history, purpose, and function of their owner association.  

How to Become Oriented to The HOA

There are many ways to become oriented to the HOA:

  1. read and review the governing documents – declaration, bylaws, articles of incorporation, rules, governance policies and plat or map
  2. read the information distributed by the HOA
  3. ask questions of the HOA manager
  4. ask questions of the HOA board of directors
  5. attend a few meetings of the board of directors
  6. attend the annual meeting of the members, and determine what candidate to vote onto the board of directors
  7. volunteer and join a committee
  8. attend an owner or resident orientation/education program
  9. obtain, read and review publications on common interest communities (from the Community Associations Institute (CAI) at www.caionline.org
  10. check out publications on HOAs from the local public library
  11. attend an educational program offered by local government or the Rocky Mountain Chapter of CAI (www.hoa-colorado.org)
  12. attend an educational program offered by our law firm or offered by the HOA or another law firm
  13. and more

Types of Common Interest Communities

Planned Community
In planned communities, an owner owns a platted lot or unit.  The HOA owns the common property, if any.

Condominium Community
In these communities, an owner owns a condominium unit and is a co-owner of the common property.  The common properties are co-owned by all owners, by percentage.  The HOA in a condominium community does not usually own real property.

Cooperative Community
In a coop, an owner owns stock or a membership in the HOA.  The owner has a lease or exclusive occupancy right to a home.  The HOA owns all of the real property.

Basics of HOAs and Common Interest Communities

What is a common interest community or HOA?
A common interest community or HOA is comprised of individual owners who are obligated to pay mandatory (not voluntary) assessments to an HOA.

What is an owners’ association, HOA (or association)?
An HOA is, typically, a nonprofit corporation, comprised of the owners as members, with members electing a board and the board engaging a management company or agent.   The HOA operates and governs the community based on the governing documents and its contract with the management company or agent.

What is the basis of the HOA?
The legal basis of HOAs:

What are governing documents?
Governing documents include the declaration (also known as covenants or CC&R’s), the plat or map, the articles of incorporation of the HOA the bylaws and the rules, regulations and policies and procedures of the HOA.

Rights of Owners and Residents

Subject to the governing documents, each owner or resident typically has the following rights:


Responsibilities of Owners and Residents

Subject to the governing documents, each owner or resident typically has the responsibility to:

Effective Owners and Residents = More Value and Influence in the Community

Educated owners and residents can focus and be more effective in influencing their HOA when they: