Why an HOA?
Homeowners Associations offer a great way to live with wonderful amenities, beautiful common areas, and tranquil lifestyles when everyone adheres to the provisions in the governing documents. When both the board of directors and the members abide by the governing documents, a harmonious living environment is created absent any legal disputes.
Oklahoma owners’ associations provide an invaluable service to Oklahoma homeowners. HOAs bear responsibility for managing the community’s finances, maintaining the common areas throughout the community and enforcing certain standards in accordance with its governing documents and Oklahoma law. By doing so, an effective HOA ensures that each property owner meets their obligations and enables each owner to better enjoy their most important asset, their home.
HOAs should retain legal counsel to promptly address their legal needs and ensure that the association’s board members’ actions are consistent with the associations’ governing documents and Oklahoma law. Because each homeowners’ association is distinct, with its own rules and regulations, bylaws, and covenants, the HOA attorneys at Rhodes, Hieronymus, Jones, Tucker and Gable work closely with each association to clearly understand the issues facing the association and review the associations’ governing documents to tailor the best solution for our client.
Why Rhodes Hieronymus?
Our firm represents both neighborhood associations and condominium associations. Rhodes, Hieronymus, Jones, Tucker and Gable can serve as the association’s general counsel and provide your association with cost effective, high quality representation in the following areas:
Formation of Association:
- Incorporate Associations with Oklahoma Secretary of State
- Draft Articles of Incorporation
- Assist in converting a voluntary homeowners association to a mandatory homeowners associations
- Assist in transitioning from developer run association to member run association
- Act as the registered service agent for association
- Prepare legal opinions interpreting existing covenants
- Draft letters to owners violating the covenants or the rules and regulations of the association
- Draft Declarations of Covenants and Conditions (also Deed of Dedications)
- Draft Bylaws for the association
- Draft amendments to the Deed of Dedications, Declarations and Bylaws
- Provide the step by step process for amending governing documents
Board of Directors:
- Help guide the Board in decision making regarding collection of account and covenant enforcement
- Attend Board meetings to provide legal guidance
- Attend Member meetings
- Draft/review proposed Board resolutions
- Work with property management companies retained by Association
Collection of past due assessment accounts:
- Send initial demand letters to delinquent owners
- Work with owners and Board to set up payment plans
- Prepare and file liens and lien releases (would require a Limited Power of Attorney, which our firm can provide)
- Prepare and file small claims suits, civil suits and lien foreclosures
- Prepare and file hearings on assets and garnishment proceedings
HOA Litigation Services
- Injunctive relief for covenant enforcement
- Board of Directors Defense
- Defective construction claims
How do HOAs Help Avoid Disputes?
The Board of Directors is generally made up of members voted on by fellow members of the Homeowners Association, and are volunteers. The Board has a fiduciary duty to the members of the association to operate the association in a manner consistent with the governing documents and in the best interest of the members. To avoid disputes as a board member, remember your obligations to the association:
- Obligation of Care. Board members should read and take time to understand the provisions contained in the governing documents for association. Enforcing HOA governing documents can be a difficult task, especially when a homeowner is resistant to comply. Understanding the governing documents can help to prevent misinterpretations when it comes to enforcing the same.
- Obligation of Loyalty. Board members should the decisions they make are acting in the best interest of, and on behalf of the community as a whole. Acting in the best interest of your fellow members helps to create a more cohesive and harmonious living environment.
- Obligation of Scope. Directors, like members, are bound by the terms of governing documents and their authority to govern the community is limited by the terms of the governing documents for the association. These documents grant the board of directors the authority to collect fees, hold meetings, and enforce the covenants. However, the governing documents act as guidelines for both the members and the board of directors and bestows obligations on each party.