By Beth Mulcahy, Esq.
First, congratulations on being elected to your board! A good place to start is to learn the “basics” about your association. Set forth below are some suggestions on where to find important information on your association and running an association in general:
1. Read the association documents and the meeting minutes of the previous year for your association.
Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs):
Defines the use of the land. The declaration outlines the standards for the community and establishes restrictions on use of the common property. CC&Rs provide that assessments be used for the upkeep and improvements of the common areas. Additionally, the CC&Rs set forth the rights, duties and obligations of the individual property owners and the board of directors.
Articles of Incorporation: Sets forth the purpose of the corporation. The Articles of Incorporation name the original board of directors, establishes membership and voting rights, and typically directs that the board adopt bylaws.
Bylaws: Sets forth the duties and terms of the officers and directors and sets the fiscal year and annual meeting date, quorum requirements, voting requirements and provisions for amendments.
Rules and Regulations: Serve as design guidelines or clarification of the CC&Rs to assist homeowners in regulating exterior design, and appearance and use of the property. Rules and Regulations are adopted by the board of directors.
Reading the minutes of your association for the past year will give you a great overview of the issues facing your association and important decisions pertaining to your association over the past year.
2. Know where to find the state statues that govern the association or condominium and have a working knowledge of them: Arizona Revised Statutes: www.azleg.gov
To access Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) online:
From the home page, select “Arizona Revised Statutes” located on the left side of the page under “General Infor-mation”. Next, scroll down to the title you want to search, se-lect and click on the actual title (i.e. title 33) to have the title open. The chapters, articles and sections follow, each listed respectively in numerical order. A.R.S. information can also be found on the Mulcahy website at www.mulcahylawfirm.net.
The following Arizona state statues may govern your community association:
Title: 10 Corporations and Associations
Chapter: 24 General Provisions – Non Profit Corporations, A.R.S. Sections 10-3101 – 10-11908
Title: 33 Property
Chapter: 9 Condominiums, A.R.S. Sections 33-1201 -33-1270
Chapter: 16 Planned Communities, A.R.S. Sections 33-1801-33-1817
Not on-line? Most libraries have computers and will help with a search of the revised statutes or they may have the Arizona Revised Statutes in bound editions.
3. Set up Learning Opportunities
a) The board should set up a mentoring program to have experienced members train new board members.
b) The board should maintain a board book of resolutions, and important actions taken by the board for review.
c) Use professionals to help train board members. Many professionals associated with community associations will attend a board meeting to educate the members. For example: ask a landscaper to come talk about maintaining trees, an attorney to talk about the importance of boards, etc.
d) Attend free legal seminars on running an association (check out our firm’s webpage at www.mulcahylawfirm.net for upcoming classes and seminars)
e) Learn the basics of parliamentary procedure.
If your association needs assistance with board training please contact our firm.