Community associations like ours have a lot in common with municipal governments. As members of a governing body, our board members meet regularly to discuss and vote on important community issues, like paying the association’s bills, funding our reserves and contracting with vendors to keep our community amenities in good repair. The board makes decisions about these and other important topics using a democratic process.

Also like a government, our association board has the legal authority to enforce rules and regulations—somewhat like laws—and to collect assessments, like a government collects taxes, to pay to maintain shared amenities like parking lots, general landscaping and street lights, and to pay the association’s bills.

Our association also has the authority to take legal action, if necessary, if a homeowner fails to meet his or her obligations that we all agreed to when we purchased in this community. These obligations include paying regular assessments on time, abiding by architectural or design policies, and observing community rules.

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