Frequently Asked QuestionsWe've compiled a list of some Frequently Asked Questions below. If you can't find the question/answer you are looking for on this page please contact us.
A: It is a non-profit corporation registered with the State and managed by a duly elected Board of Directors. Its purpose is to maintain all common areas and to govern the community in accordance with the provision of the legal documents: CC&Rs, Bylaws, and Articles of Incorporation. The corporation is financially supported by all members of the homeowners association. Membership is both automatic and mandatory.
A: Yes. As an owner of a condo you will need personal insurance. To determine the correct amount of insurance you will need to consult the Governing Documents as well as with your insurance agent. It is also recommended to have your personal agent to consult with the insurance agent on behalf of the association to determine the correct amount of coverage in the event of a loss.
A: The terminology of an association is often time confusing. The governing documents (commonly called the CC&R's) are all of the legally recorded documents that pertain to the community. Examples of the documents that are recorded to comprise the governing documents: The Master Deed, By-Laws, Amendments and the Articles of Incorporation. The (CC&Rs) are the governing legal documents that set up the guidelines for the operation of the planned community as a non-profit corporation. The CC&Rs were recorded by the County in which the property is located and are included in the title to your property. 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 a business. These are important documents that should be kept by each owner.
A: Most associations have developed Rules and Regulations as provided for in the Governing Documents and adopted by the Board of Directors. Rules are established to provide direction to the homeowners for common courtesies with regard to parking, vehicles, pets, and pool use hours, etc. In addition, your Association will 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 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, or Architectural Committee, as applicable, you will be required to remove or correct the alteration and/or be fined for the violation.
A: All documents are posted online for purchase at HomeWiseDocs.com. Should you not have a copy on file or are unable to locate a copy from a neighbor, please access the necessary documents online.
A: The Homeowner's Association again is a corporation and therefore a governing body is required to oversee its business. The Board of Directors is elected by the homeowners, or as otherwise specified in the bylaws. The limitations and restrictions of the powers of the Board of Directors are outlined in the Association governing documents. The directors are all unpaid volunteers that are members of the community.
A: Yes. There are several types of meetings of the Board of Directors: Annual, Special & Regular. Annual and Special meetings are announced in advance and all owners will be notified in writing of the upcoming meeting, the location, time & purpose. Regular meetings are set by the Board and administered as the Board sees fit. If you intend to attend a regular meeting of the Board, due to the locations and time of meetings, members are generally asked to announce their intent to attend due to seating and room limitations. Each community has a separate answer as to where and when they hold their regular meetings. The office of Cummings Property Management is often times utilized as a free location to all of communities. If you would like to request attendance at the upcoming regular meeting of the Board or are unaware of the next meeting's date, time & location, please contact the management company for further information.
A: Thank you! Volunteer efforts are greatly appreciated. If you are interested in volunteering, please either contact a member of the Board or a committee chair on-site or call our office to discuss opportunities with your property manager.
A: Voting is done at Annual Meetings and Special meetings. Voting is a right of the co-owners. Each unit is allowed one total vote. In order to designate the voting rights to one person, a voter's registration should be used to place one person in charge of the vote. All annual meetings and special meeting will allow the designated voter the opportunity to vote in person. However, if a co-owner is unable to attend they are able to vote by two separate methods, absentee and by proxy. An Absentee vote should be used when the co-owner can not make attend the meeting. Proxies are used when an owner wishes to grant someone else the right to cast their vote in their stead. Absentee votes and Proxies must be signed and dated by the co-owner and are important as these votes count towards obtaining a quorum necessary to ratify the validity of the outcomes of the meetings.
A: The Board of Directors annually adopts a budget for the association. This budget is set upon specific guidelines 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 parameters set forth by the association's governing documents and distributed to each owner for their respective share in the expenses.
A: There is no concrete answer to this. 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. Every attempt is made to minimize increases; however, a raise in costs over a long period of time should be expected by all members of the community.
A: 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 as assessments are due on the first of the month. In addition, the CC&Rs allows the Association to charge late charges and proceed with a lien on your property, or foreclosure proceeding for nonpayment of assessments. Penalty for not paying your dues will be swift and automatic to preserve the community's best interest in maintaining the common elements.
A: Yes & Yes. Each community sets its own budget the prior year. Should an owner want to review the budget as well as other financial information regarding the association, it is at their request to inspect. Individual records of the account balances of other owners as well as the bank account numbers of the community are held confidential.
A: Assessments, dues and fees are all equal names. They will all vary by the frequency, monthly, quarterly, annually, however, they are the periodic 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. Special Assessments do differ from the rest as they indicate a separate, one-time in nature type activity, i.e. road replacement, roof replacement, or other such large item that happens infrequently. Special assessments can be planned and included with regular payment booklets as well as announced mid-year as deemed necessary by the Board.
A: The mailing address for all payments is the following:
(Name of Association) C/O Cummings Property Management PO Box 33767 Detroit, MI 48232-3767
Be sure to include on your check your name and address and name of community. Please allow for 2 days for mail to process.
A: A management company is contracted by the Board of Directors to provide such services as: collection of assessments, supervision of subcontractors, obtaining bids for subcontracted services, providing financial statements and collection reports, as well as a general clearing house for problem solving, communications with homeowners and the Board of Directors and to serve in an advisor capacity. The management company reports directly to the Board and all decisions are made by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. The management company may be reached online through the Contact Us page on this site.
A: Yes. As members of the association each owner has the right to reasonable access of corporate files. Individual records of other owners are held confidential, but all other information is deemed open and at the right for inspection. Should you want to view such records, please indicate to the manager of the community where you reside and allow a reasonable time for preparation.
Q: If I am having a problem with a neighbor for a violation of the Policies and Guidelines, what can I do?
A: If residents cannot resolve a situation between themselves, then turn to your Association. Should you have a situation that does not appear to be resolved through neighborly means, and you are willing to actively participate in the enforcement provided by the Policies and Guidelines, you may complete a Violation form online. If the situation is deemed in violation of the Policies and Guidelines, the Board of Directors will institute the enforcement policy. Your continued assistance may be required.
A: Modifications are changes to the exterior of the common elements that permanently alter the appearance of the common elements. For example, planting a tree, adding a screen door, or installing a deck are all classified as modifications. Such changes are required to have prior written approval by the Board. If you have such a request, please fill out the online modification request form.
A: You can update your personal contact information with the online Change of Record form. This is especially important for billing purposes. Be sure to keep your contact information current as the need to have immediate access to an owner is critical from time to time.