Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A homeowner association (HOA), also known as a Common Interest Development (CID) and a community association, is a non-profit entity under which community governance structure is established and operated. Homeowners associations are established with the intent of protecting the community assets and instituting prudent physical and financial maintenance practices. Decisions concerning homeowner association operations are made by a volunteer Board of Directors elected by the community residents during the annual meeting of the membership.
The Board of Directors are volunteer homeowners who have been elected by the membership at an annual membership meeting. By virtue of their selection, they are given the authority to make decisions on behalf of the membership affecting all aspects of community association assets. The Board of Directors' decisions may include creation of restrictions governing the use of common area facilities, collection of reserve funds for future repair and maintenance of assets, collection of assessments, enforcement of use restrictions, along with many other important and critical decisions; all for the benefit and care of the community and its homeowners.
Since the Board of Directors is comprised of volunteers, it is a good idea to hire a professional managing agent specializing in community association operations. Professional management companies possess knowledge of changing legislation affecting common interest developments and they understand fiscal as well as physical management requirements of these entities. The scope of services provided by a management company will vary based on the needs of each community association. Contractual management duties include customer service, preparation of financial statements, collection of assessments, coordination and oversight of vendors to address maintenance issues.
The role of the community association manager is to implement the decisions of the Board of Directors, administer the services, programs, and the operation of the Common Interest Development (CID) within the policies and guidelines set by the Board, and, in the case of a professional manager, provide information, training, and often, leadership to an inexperienced board member as he/she sets policies and makes decisions.
All homeowners should assume responsibility to protect property values and secure a lifestyle that all residents can enjoy. As a member of your community association, your legal responsibilities to the community association include: complying with the governing documents, rules and regulations, architectural guidelines, policies and procedures, and paying the monthly assessment necessary to operate the community association.
The monthly assessment covers the operating and reserve expenses that the community association is legally obligated to take care of, per the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R's). Items such as insurance, taxes, water, electricity, landscaping services, street sweeping, janitorial, and even pest control are just a few of the items that may be covered by assessments. Assessments also cover the funding of reserves, which are funds accumulated to pay for future repair or replacement of major components for which the community association is responsible, such as roofing and painting in a condominium project, street repairs, and pool/spa and clubhouse refurbishment in a planned unit development. Assessments also cover the costs associated with operating a non-profit corporation, including preparation of an annual budget, audit, reserve study, and distribution of election materials, etc.
Special assessments are a method in which the community association can continue to operate when faced with an unexpected expense from an event or common area component failure, which was not previously anticipated within the community association's operating/reserve budget.
Optimum offers an ACH program where we debit your checking or savings account on the fifth of the month, if the fifth is on a weekend or holiday the debit will occur the following business day. If you would like to sign up for this service, please contact Optimum’s Billing Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For added-convenience, payments can also be made online. All payments require a bank routing number in addition to a checking, savings or money market account number. Payment can also be made by Credit Card. Please visit Optimum’s website at www.optimumpm.com for more information or log into the homeowner portal for payment options. If you have questions regarding your account number and password, please contact Optimum at (714) 508-9070 and press 1 for a Billing representative.
Please make all checks payable to the community association(s) in which you reside. Please mail your check to:
The Arroyo Maintenance Corporation
c/o Optimum Professional Property Management
P.O. Box 513626
Los Angeles, CA 90051-3626
HOA assessments are a legal requirement of each and every homeowner purchasing a home within a community association. Board members have a fiduciary duty to collect delinquent assessments for the benefit of the entire community association. A Collections Policy has been established by your Board of Directors for non-payment of assessments and could result in a lien being filed against the property, judgment, and collection if not kept current.
Several documents govern community association operations. These documents include Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R), Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, Architectural Guidelines, Election Rules, Corporate and Civil Codes.
Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R)
CC&R's are County recorded documents and contain information regarding membership, assessments, architectural control, use restrictions, duties and powers of the community association, repair and maintenance responsibilities, insurance, easements, annexations, just to name a few.
Bylaws outline organizational details such as frequency of board meetings, number of board members, etc.
Rules and Regulations
Rules and Regulations are an unrecorded set of guidelines summarizing the use restrictions in the CC&R's. The Board of Directors establishes the content of this document and may change them as necessary. Rules and Regulations may be modified through resolutions.
Designed to ensure that consistency is maintained. Before you begin work on your home, your community association may require that you submit an architectural application.
Homeowner board members are volunteers. Therefore, their personal information cannot be provided. All inquiries submitted to management must be in writing and that information is then placed on the agenda for the board to review at their next meeting.
Board meetings are to provide a forum permitting board members to make community association business decisions. Board meetings embody an executive session and a general session. The executive session is closed to homeowners. It provides a confidential forum in which to discuss matters of sensitive nature which may include contract issues, personal issues or legal matters. The general session is open to homeowners. Homeowners may address the Board in the homeowner forum portion of the meeting. The remainder of the meeting requires no homeowner involvement. However; homeowners are encouraged to remain and observe the meeting activities. Homeowners should contact their community association manager with concerns, questions or any matter they wish to discuss.
All homeowners are encouraged to participate as Homeowner Associations rely on volunteer support. There are many opportunities within community associations to become involved. Community association committees often include a social committee, landscape committee, rules and regulations committee, architectural review committee and many others. Involvement ensures that each individual's voice is heard and each homeowner's ideas are considered and applied to the extent permitted. Homeowners find volunteerism affords them the opportunity to make a difference and is a great resource in forming relationships with neighbors. Please contact your association manager if you are interested in becoming a volunteer.
Please contact your association manager if you are interested in running for Delegate position, the Board or serving on a committee. For roles, such as serving as a Delegate or on the Board, watch your mail for material related to your community’s annual election. You will have an opportunity to submit an application for candidacy prior to the preparation and mailing of election material.