"There may be restrictions against pets or against altering your unit without getting approval from the board or the architectural committee as well." That's necessary, he says, because one homeowner's structural changes might affect others."An association doesn't want [members] doing anything to the exterior of their unit that's going to have a negative aesthetic or structural impact.
A., a law firm based in Cherry Hill, says, "Although the association's authority and power derive from the Condominium Act and the master deed, each condo's master deed is unique.
The act also limits the voting rights of the developer of the new condo and limits their control." When the condo is formed, any major contracts entered into by the developer on behalf of the association are limited to two years.
New condo owners get a lot of papers and documents during the purchasing process, and among the most important they receive are the community's Declaration of Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&R), the bylaws, administrative guidelines, and other legal documents spelling out the rules and regulations for life in their new home.
As anyone involved with one knows, a homeowners association provides a system of self-governance whereby residents elect one another to serve on the board of directors and on committees for the betterment of the community.
"Associations don't typically distribute anything other than rules and regulations," he says.
"The purchaser should have gotten a copy of the master deed and bylaws at the closing." Some associations however, he adds, do send out copies of budgets and bills, and others publish a newsletter containing financial and administrative information, and it's up to the homeowner to read and understand that information.
It varies depending on what their governing documents say." A board's responsibilities also depend on the definition of the common elements in the master deed and the layout of the community, says Hallenborg, but in any case, "The board is an overseer.
They are responsible for the maintenance, management and insurance on the common elements.
Association members can vote for or against directors, but in New Jersey they generally cannot act to approve or reject their association's annual budget. That doesn't mean that the board doesn't have to answer for its actions, says Smith.