All of the questions below have been answered in a manner which covers the general governance of most California Community Associations. However, the Documents of your Association may be more specific or restrictive, so we recommend that you compare our answers with your Association’s specific documents before you take any actions in regards to your question or concern.
For more specific information, login to myAccess to access your community’s documents.
► Click on a question below:
- What does Concept Seven do?
- Who is the “Association”? Is “Concept Seven” the Association?
- Who are the “Board of Directors”, and how do I contact them?
- What is common area and what is not common area?
- What do I do in the event of an emergency?
- Can I install a satellite dish?
- Can I shutoff the water to my unit?
- What is an “assessment”, and how is the amount determined?
- Will my assessment go up?
- What happens if I don’t pay my assessment?
- What are the CC&R’S?
- What are the Bylaws?
- Are there any other regulations?
- What if I witness a violation of the CC&R’s/Rules?
- What if I have a maintenance request?
- I want to help out by becoming a Board Member or Committee Member. How do I let them know?
- I want to remodel the interior of my home. Is there anything I need to know?
- I am going through an escrow/refinance for my home. Is there anything I need to do?
- Coordinating maintenance of the common areas through outside service providers and contractors.
- Assisting owners with questions.
- Assisting the Board with decision making, law compliance, estimates, budget preparation, etc.
- All accounting functions of your community, including dues collection, check processing, financial reports, budgets, etc.
Periodic inspection of community grounds if included in the agreement (usually monthly or quarterly at the Board’s request).
Obtaining and maintaining an insurance plan for your Association.
Coordinating legal action and defense, if needed.
Coordinating repairs or response in the event of an emergency in the common area.
However, our duties generally do not include:
- On-site management.
Maintenance of individual units.
Policing the community.
Supervision specific homes, residents, vehicles or pets.
Daily inspections or visits to the property.
No, we are not the Association. The term “Association” is another word for the group of homeowners that live at your community, and the property which consists of the community itself. The Association is led by the Board of Directors, and our firm provides assistance to the Board.
The Board of Directors is a volunteer group of homeowners from your community who serve to enhance, preserve and protect the value of the property. Generally speaking, most Boards will meet monthly, though some meet only quarterly or annually. These meetings help facilitate communication between the Board and the rest of the homeowners (otherwise known as the Membership). The meetings are also the time and place for the Board to make decisions regarding how the community is run and maintained.
The terms “common area”, “exclusive use common area” and “unit” are usually described in the CC&Rs. Please download a copy of your Association’s CC&R’s for clarification.
Generally speaking however, common areas which are maintained by the Association usually include the following components, amongst others:
- Landscaping (trees, grass, plants, sprinklers, flowers, etc.)
Sidewalks, walkways, stairs
Pool, spa, sauna, rec rooms
Piping servicing more than one home
Units usually consist of the following, which owners must maintain at their discretion and expense, amongst others:
- Windows and skylights
- Private garages
- Interior painting and drywall
- Appliances,including air conditioning and heaters
- Interior piping servicing only one home
Again, since each community is different, please consult your CC&R’s for the actual description of repair responsibilities.
► What do I do in the event of an emergency?
If the emergency is life-threatening or a criminal act, please contact the Police Department of the Fire Department immediately. Then, contact our office the next day during business hours if you need further assistance.
If the emergency involves property damage only, you may dial our emergency extension (explained on the operator system when you call our office) to page a manager for assistance. Please be absolutely sure that the issue requires immediate maintenance attention, as excessive or non-emergency calls may cause a fee to be charged to your community.
Although FCC regulations require that communities allow the installation of satellite dishes in the private areas of the property, the Association may disallow the installation of any dish or antenna onto the common area itself. In other words, owners are usually not allowed to install dishes onto the roof, siding, wood trim, balcony rails, etc.
Before you install a dish or other antenna, please download a copy of the “Satellite Dish Request Form” from our website for more details, and to submit an application for Board approval.
Yes, you may shutoff the water to your unit. However, as a courtesy to all other residents who may be affected by the water shutoff, we recommend that you do the following before shutting the water off:
- Post a notice in the common area, advising residents of the shutoff. This notice must include your name, contact information, dates/times of the shutoff, and the name and contact information of the plumber.
- Notices must be posted with no less than 72 hours notice.
- At the least, notices should be posted at all entrances to the property, in the mailbox area, on the bulletin board, and at the elevators.
- Send a copy of the notice to our office before the shutoff occurs, so that we may advise residents who could possibly call our office with questions regarding the shutoff.
For your convenience, a sample “Water Shutoff Notice” is also downloadable from our website. Please also remember that the Association and Management are not responsible assisting you in finding the shutoff valves to your home, as the plumber you hire should be capable of finding them at the property on their own.
The assessment is the monthly amount due from each homeowner to cover the operating expenses of the common area, and provide for reserve funds for replacement of common facilities in future years. Your assessments are due by the 15th of each month.
The Board of Directors meet annually develop the budget for the community. This budget is developed with specific guidelines and projections for utilities, landscaping, administration, etc. Reserve funds are monies set aside for future expenses due to the life expectancy of certain items:
lighting, street resurfacing, pool equipment, etc. These amounts are then divided by the number of units build in a given phase of development. Please download a copy of your Association’s budget for more information.
There is no concrete answer to this. Most CC&R’s provide for annual increases, but can not exceed a 20% per year without the vote of the membership. The Board of Directors may approve an increased budget, increasing your assessment up to this percentage in order to cover increased costs of operating and maintaining the common area and sufficient reserve funds. The increase will be determined by the level of services to be provided to the community.
The maintenance and management services incurred by the Association are dependent upon timely receipt of the assessments due from each homeowner. Late payments will result in a late charge and interest penalties. In addition, the deed restrictions (CC&R’s) allow the Association to proceed with a lien on your property, or foreclosure proceeding for non-payment of assessments.
The Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R’s) are the governing legal documents that set up the guidelines for the operation of the planned community as a non-profit corporation. The CC&R’s were recorded by the County recorder’s office of the County in which the property is located and are included in the title to your property. Failure to abide by the CC&R’s may result in a fine to a homeowner by the Board of Directors.
The Bylaws are the guidelines for the operation of the non-profit corporation. The Bylaws define the duties of the various offices of the Board of Directors, the terms of the Directors, the membership’s voting rights, required meetings and notices of meetings, and the principal office of the Association, as well as other specific items that are necessary to run the Association as business.
The association has developed Rules and Regulations as provided for in the CC&R’s and adopted by the Board of Directors. Rules are instigated to provide direction to the homeowners for common courtesies with regard to parking, vehicles, pets and pool use hours, etc. In addition, your Association may adopt Architectural Guidelines with procedures for submitting requests to make exterior changes to your home. Such changes may include patio covers, decks, landscaping, exterior color changes or extensive interior changes and additions. These rules and guidelines are set up to maintain the aesthetic value, uniformity and integrity of the community on behalf of all owners, and hopefully protect the market value of your investment as well. Violations of these rules may result in action by the Board of Directors and a fine. In addition, if you proceed with an exterior improvement or change, without written approval of the Board of Directors, you will be required to remove or correct the alteration and/or be fined for the violation. To be safe, please submit requests for approval before starting any remodeling on the inside our outside of your home.
In order for the Association to take action in regards to violations of the Governing Documents, the Board of Directors must first receive a written incident report from the witnessing homeowner. If a written report is not provided, the Board cannot take any action against the violator. Verbal reports called into Management cannot be accepted, as there would be no proof that the incident occurred.
If you wish to report such a violation, please complete an Online Incident Report. Once submitted, we will forward the form to the Board of Directors for their review and direction. Due to owner confidentiality, please remember that if you submit a form, you may not be advised of the results, as the Board is not at liberty to discuss these issues publicly.
Please complete and submit an Online Maintenance Request. If the request is within our contractual ability to complete, we will issue a work order to the applicable vendor. If we cannot satisfy your request directly, the form will be forwarded to the Board of Directors for their review and direction. In some cases, the Board may postpone the maintenance request in light of more urgent or important issues. Just because the item has not been repaired does not necessarily mean that is it not being addressed by your Association, so please be patient.
Please email our office. We will provide a copy of your form to the Board, and ask them to consider your nomination. In most cases, the Board would love to have additional support, so your nomination will most likely be happily welcomed.
Yes. Although not a pleasure to read, please always read your Association’s CC&R’s and Rules before performing any type of construction. Often times, there will be regulations prohibiting hardwood floors, spa tubs, etc., and you should know these regulations before starting any work. We have also drafted a policy called “Construction Guidelines” which goes into more detail about this matter. Please find this document on our website.
Yes, your lender is going to require documents and forms from the Association. We can provide these documents and forms online through HOA Data Services. They will help you from there. For more information about our escrow processes, see our Escrow Services page.