Your CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions) are the most comprehensive document in your HOA. These contain in-depth information about the association and how it’s run, as well as establishing the general structure of the development and what land is subject to the governing documents. Sometimes you’ll hear board members or residents cite the “bylaws,” when they actually mean the CC&Rs.
The CC&Rs are the final say in the association’s rules—if another document contradicts it, the CC&Rs wins.
What Goes Into CC&Rs?
So, what exactly is in this document? For starters, it outlines the association’s role, the amount of control they wield and their responsibility to their residents. What kind of rules can the HOA impose, and how are they allowed to enforce them? This is where you would see specific rules about use and care of the association’s property, as well as your own home.
Restrictions on use of amenities, exterior personal decor, conduct on HOA property, etc. will be outlined here, as well as how the association or board can enforce these rules, whether fines are permissible, and how much time is allotted for corrections. It will also include the proper process for writing, proposing, and ratifying any amendments to the document.
CC&Rs also cover your duties and rights as a homeowner. What is required of you as a member of the association, such as upkeep of your personal property, financial obligations, etc. will be listed, as well as your recourse for action when you feel your rights have been violated. You also find proper procedures for levying fines or special assessments, which the board must follow.
Where Can You Find Your CC&Rs?
Whether you’re a prospective buyer or an existing member, your association must provide you with access to all governing documents, including CC&Rs.
When You’re Looking to Buy a Home
Before you close, your realtor, builder, or seller should provide you with a copy of the CC&Rs for the association. You’ll be expected to review the document and sign an acknowledgement that you have done so. You should always keep a copy of it for your personal records.
When You’re an Existing HOA Member
If you already own a home within the association, but you’ve lost your copy (or never knew to keep one in the first place), it’s possible to get another copy from your HOA. Keep in mind that your board might charge a fee for obtaining an additional physical copy, which would be laid out in the governing documents.
If your association uses a management company, you may be able to call or email the company to receive a new copy. In some cases, an email or written letter to the management company will be required for documentation purposes, and your board may request a copy of that letter.
If you don’t know who your HOA board members are or how to contact them, you can find the contact information by visiting your state’s corporation commission website. In most states, HOAs are required to maintain certain records with the commission, including articles of incorporation and annual reports. These records will generally contain information for contacting someone with the association.
If you’re having trouble getting in touch with your association or board, you can obtain a copy of your CC&Rs from your county assessor’s office. In some cases, you can find them on the official website, but if not, you can file a request with the office in person.
You can also rely on your neighbors. Chances are at least one will have a copy that you can either borrow to peruse or make a copy for yourself.
Still have questions about your CC&Rs or need help finding, creating, or enforcing them? We’d love to help! Contact us for information or support.