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The association board holds regular meetings, in some cases monthly and others annually, in which issues can be discussed and voted upon by the membership. The board also organizes the regular election of its officers. Bylaws adopted by the board govern elections, the payment of dues, and the association’s authority and responsibilities.
Dues and Assessments
The board recommends special assessments for building or renovation projects. The board is also responsible for filing liens against property owners who fail to pay dues. In California, a quorum of 50 percent of all homeowners is required to raise annual dues, which can rise no more than 20 percent from one year to the next.
The board sets regulations for the use of common areas, such as parking lots, lawns, recreational facilities, sidewalks and indoor facilities. The board decides on the addition or renovation of lighting, parking shelters, security infrastructure and roads, and may also set very strict rules on the exterior appearance of individual units and the addition of any exterior fixtures. Many association boards hire property management companies to carry out repair and/or maintenance.
Association boards organize committees for the various activities that are carried out: regular maintenance, renovations, landscaping and repair of facilities that are in common use. The association board is responsible for contracting out seasonal services such as snowplowing and mowing.
Civil Law Procedures
For violation of association regulations, the board may levy fines on violators or file a complaint in civil court. Each state has statutes governing the authority of homeowners’ associations and the rights and responsibilities of these associations to conform with municipal ordinances.