Governing Documents for Your HOA: Mastering the Basics

When you buy a home in a community with common amenities, you’ll automatically become a member of the neighborhood’s homeowner’s association. Every HOA has a custom set of governing documents that the community—and each homeowner—must follow. 

Although these may vary from community to community, HOA governing documents typically include: 

  • Articles of incorporation: Establish the nonprofit association in the state where the community is located
  • Bylaws: Describe how the association is run, establish voting rights and procedures, contain rules for association operation, describe how HOA board members are elected and serve, and detail association rights and responsibilities—including assessment collection
  • Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (known as CC&Rs): Detail structure of development and common areas, contain restrictions on each owner’s use of their property, and define rights and responsibilities of homeowners
  • Rules and regulations: Contain additional requirements on how property in the development can be used

By knowing—and following—what’s outlined in your HOA’s governing documents, you’ll help protect your investment in your home and make the community one you are proud to live in! 

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