In this event it’s important to consult with a licensed attorney, preferably someone specializing in laws pertaining to homeowners associations. Remember, while federal laws apply to all, state laws vary from state to state. A licensed attorney in your area can help interpret your association’s documents and advise on how they should be interpreted in harmony with state and federal laws.
While this is not a substitute for legal advice, the following hierarchy provides guidance on which rules come generally out on top.
1. Federal and State Laws and Statutes
Hands down, federal and state laws take precedence over your HOA’s governing documents. Examples would be the Americans with Disability Act and the Fair Housing Act.
2. Recorded Map, Plan, or Plat
A map or plat that was recorded with your association’s parish before any lots were sold are next. They are there to establish maintenance responsibility and property location.
3. CC&Rs (Deed Restrictions)
Your deed restrictions are part of the owner’s document which details expectations and limitations for usage of land. These are the top priority in HOA documents, and are therefore the hardest to make amendments to.
4. Articles of Incorporation
When the HOA is legally created as a corporation, this document is filed with the Secretary of State.
5. HOA Bylaws
The purpose of your association’s bylaws are to establish guidelines on the association’s internal affairs. You’ll find member and board requirements and record keeping guidelines in this document.
6. Board Rules/Resolutions
HOA resolutions are policies that are formally enacted and adopted regarding areas like collections, common area regulations, and covenant enforcement. Most Boards of Directors can adopt Rules and Regulations as long as they do not conflict with the governing documents of the association.
Gulf South Property Management specializes in the management of homeowners associations. Give us a call today so we can answer any questions you may have.