“A Short Guide On Understanding Housing Association” written by Mike Marko
Planning to become a part of a housing association?
Being a part of any association entails a lot of responsibilities. Before you decide to become a part of a housing association, you have to know what it stands for.
Understanding what a housing association stands for and what they can do for your property management business is key to determining if you should join a particular association or not to join. It is irresponsible and could be very costly to join one without knowing anything about what housing associations do.
Here’s a short guide on what a housing association is all about.
What You Need To Know About Housing Association
First off, when looking to join a housing association you need to be aware of what the responsibilities that entail a member of a housing association. But before we move on, let’s define what a housing association is.
What Is Housing Association
A housing association can mean a lot of things, but it’s most common synonym involves an association that is an expert or deals with all areas of housing management. Any association is composed of board members who’re either volunteers and/or homeowners of the said community.
The board members roles normally include being enforcers of the community rules, which are commonly called the CC&R (covenants, conditions, and restrictions).
The housing association makes sure that each homeowner carries out their task and follows the CC&R accordingly.
Some Facts About The Housing Association
To understand what a housing association stands for, here are some facts we gathered for this article.
A Housing Association’s CC&Rs
The first fact you need to know about housing associations is its CC&Rs. Each housing association creates its own covenants, conditions, and restrictions, or simply called CC&Rs.
The CC&Rs cover a wide range of topics but it must revolve around the following:
- Resident behavior (no glass containers around the pool, Quiet time 10PM to 7AM, etc.).
- Architecture (no fences higher than 8 feet, roof, building conditions and upgrades along with maintenance schedules).
- Common responsibilities (fee schedules and fines for non-compliance).
CC&Rs serve as rules in the neighborhood or the community. It describes the limitations and requirements that homeowners and renters need to do when it comes to the property.
A CC&R only has three goals: to protect, to preserve, and to enhance the property values in the community.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, average annual dues of a homeowners/housing association is around $396. Depending on the housing association for the properties you manage or own these fees will vary.
A Housing Association’s Board
A housing association has a board of professionals that creates, implements and monitor the CC&Rs. Some housing association’s board can meet as little as twice a year.
When there’s an issue raised by a homeowner, a community vote is needed. Once voting passes majority, that’s the only time the board will adopt it. Even though the board may adopt certain rules or regulations for the property often these rules can be considered invasive, elitist, or silly to other homeowners.
A homeowner can be a member of the board. Normally the election for new board members happens during annual meetings. It’s done by member majority vote and terms for board members normally last one year or until they step down or a removed from the board.
What It Meant When You Become A Board Member Of The Housing Association
Being a board member means you have to be prepared for the number of hours you’ll spend solely for the association. Normally becoming a board member is a part-time commitment. At most you’ll spend at least two to four hours a week on your responsibilities which can include community meetings and housing association votes.
Your job as a board member will commonly include…
- Reviewing property management reports.
- Monitoring budgets allocated for the association.
- Talking to other board members and residents of the community.
- Voting on proposals and rules for the association
- Determining the allocation of cash and fees to repair, upgrade or keep the housing community safe
- Voting on tenant requests to modify or change buildings or living space
If a property manager becomes a board member of a housing association, their main tasks should be to prioritize the goals of the association. This way they understand the needs of the property and the tenants that they serve.
When you’re a board member, there’s a chance you’ll end up becoming less popular because you have to make the tough decisions for the overall community your association governs. Often when unpopular decisions are made for the housing community, homeowners and renters may end up not liking your decisions for the community. But the catch is that you’ll have more control over your community’s fate.
Common Responsibilities Of A Housing Association
We can divide the common responsibilities of a housing association in two parts. One is the association’s responsibility to the physical aspect of the property. The other is its written and legal responsibilities regarding the property and the tenants.
Some of the responsibilities are listed below.
Physical Responsibilities To The Property
- Carry out any repairs to the properties in the housing association which keep units safe to live in at all times.
- Keep the structure and exterior of the house or buildings in working order.
- Carry out repairs within the times set out in the Repairs Policy.
- Carry out repairs promptly and to a good standard.
Written And Legal Responsibilities To The Property And The Tenant
- Give a written tenancy agreement.
- Give information about complaints procedure.
- Give information about policies on setting rent, allocating houses, repairs and maintenance.
- Being reasonable, and if permission is refused, there must be a good reason.
- Consultation, and take account views, before making or changing any policies that are likely to significantly affect tenants.
- Vote on allocation of association fees for repairs, upgrades or other requests.
Final Thoughts On What You Need To Know About Housing Association
Now we talked about everything we needed to know about a housing association. It’s imperative that you know what it stands for, and what the responsibilities are.
In the case of property managers, they should be knowledgeable about their own community as well.
For any questions regarding housing associations, you can drop them below.
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