About Community Living
association was organized for the purpose of fulfilling the following
- to safeguard the
architectural integrity of the community,
- to obtain the
services necessary for the maintenance of Common Area property, and
- to promote increased
property values of the homes for the benefit of association members.
Organization of the Association
Membership Means Organization
Upon acquisition of a home, the deed requires that the owner
become a mandatory member of the Association.
At the Association's annual meeting, community members elect fellow
homeowners to the Association's board of directors. The members of the board are volunteers and serve without
compensation. The directors elect the
respective board officers.
The Declaration of Protective Covenants, Conditions,
Restrictions, Easements, Charges and Liens (simply "Declaration"), or
master deed, contains the rights and restrictions governing the use of the
common areas, as well as the individual lots.
The Declaration was recorded in the County Clerk's office prior to the
first home conveyance. The terms of the
Declaration bind all present and future owners and mortgagees of the property.
For more information on community association standards see
Understanding Association Rules & Regulations.
The By-Laws set forth the policies and procedures for the
operation of the Association including the formation and duties of its board of
directors, meeting and voting guidelines, fee determinations and the
requirements for amendment.
Although the board of directors has ultimate and fiduciary
responsibility for managing the community, the By-Laws provide for hiring a
professional property managing agent to assist the board in fulfilling its
duties and responsibilities.
The purpose of the Offering Plan is to set forth the terms
of the original offering by the sponsor/developer.
The Offering Plan contains the Declaration, Deed, By-Laws, Article of
Incorporation, first year operating budget and other information as required by
the Department of Law to insure full disclosure of every aspect of the original
purchaser's investment. The Offering
Plan was filed by the sponsor and accepted by the Attorney General's Office of
the Department of Law, State of New York prior to conveyance of the first
Membership Means Participation
Each homeowner is involved in the Association at some
level. Individual involvement may
- your association dues
are paid on time;
- association standards are adhered to at all
- you vote at the annual board of directors
Management of the Association
The Association acts as a "mini-government" in that it
oversees and operates the community, maintains common area(s), establishes
standards and policies, collects assessments, and makes all decisions that are
vital to the successful operation of the Association.
Board of Directors
The board of directors governs the business affairs of the
Association. The board is assigned the
powers and duties necessary for the business administration of the community by
the By-Laws and Declaration. In
addition to other duties, the board is primarily responsible for setting the
annual budget, levying the association assessment, enforcing the architectural
standards, hiring the managing agent, engaging contractors, purchasing
insurance and paying applicable taxes.
The board sets forth budget information and the adoption of
policies and community matters via written communications and at association
meetings. The board of directors
generally meets monthly to quarterly, depending on the size and complexity of
the community. Knowing your board
representative, and working with them, is an important part of your membership
in the Association.
Property Managing Agent
The Managing Agent assists the board of directors by
providing financial, administrative and facilities management, maintenance
supervision, rules and regulation enforcement services, as well as assistance
and consulting services on a wide range of matters to the Board and
Backed by over 30 years experience in real estate
management, development, investment and brokerage services, Diamond Realty
Management specializes in condominium and homeowner association
Annual / Association Meetings
In accordance with the By-Laws, the Association convenes an
annual meeting to:
- present the annual
- elect board members,
- present the
- present the Managing
Agent's report, and,
- Transact any other
business that may come before the board.
Committees and Volunteers
The success of any community association is dependent upon
the meaningful participation of its members.
If you wish to participate on the board or a particular committee, or
volunteer your services on behalf of the community, please contact the managing
agent or a member of the board of directors.
The Association assessment is developed by the board of
directors based on the adoption of an operating and, if any, the capital
reserve budget. Monthly assessments are
used to fund operations for the benefit of the community. Prompt payment of the assessment ensures
the efficient operations and assures the attractive appearance of the
community, which helps ensure for the protection of property values.
In general, monthly Association Assessment payments are to
be received on or before the 10th of each month, or on the date specified on
the billing statement, using the payment coupon booklet/envelopes
In accordance with Association policy, assessment payments
not received on time may be subject to late payment charges, in accordance with
Association policy. Non-payment can lead to legal proceedings with all
applicable collection costs incurred by the owner.
Please contact the managing agent if you encounter an
economic or medical hardship and need to arrange an alternative payment
Purchasing a residence in a community association offers
several advantages to the owner; however, at the same time it also imposes some
reasonable restrictions. These
standards are a means of maintaining community harmony while preserving
These standards were formulated for the collective benefit
of the community and it is expected that all residents will voluntarily comply
Understanding Association Rules & Regulations
An estimated 40 million people - one out of every eight
Americans - live in community associations today. These associations are private, nonprofit organizations in which
all property owners are automatically association members. This housing alternative offers several
advantages over conventional single family homeownership.
goals are to:
- perpetually ensure
the communities' aesthetic appeal,
- enhance property
- maintain all common
When groups of people - no matter their size - share common
area property, rules must be set forth.
Further, the need to establish reasonable and uniform policies is
heightened as a result of increased housing density, that in turn achieves
greater green space, lower housing costs and less maintainable grounds area.
For the benefit of all members, the uniqueness of community
living prescribes the necessity to maintain "standards of living,"
and compliance with these standards is necessary to promote harmonious living
and to protect property values. The
existence of these standards is one of the basic advantages of the community
Living standards and guidelines govern the community in
- Establishes the
use of common properties and individual lots/units. This promotes uniformity,
establishes minimum (building and grounds) maintenance requirements, and
promotes that the sharing of common properties is both equitable and
- Controls changes
in architectural or exterior appearance. This establishes and preserves
uniform design as it strives to protect property values and assures that the
character and integrity of the community is maintained.
- Establishes conduct guidelines for residents and guests. This helps promote peaceful coexistence by minimizing possible neighborly
The advantages of community living are many. As noted, it assures for an attractive community appearance,
provides for harmonious living, and protects homeowners' property values. These standards are incorporated in each
homeowner's deed, therefore, their benefits will endure with the land, rather
than at the whim of each succeeding homeowner.
The governing documents include:
- Articles of
Incorporation - The Articles establish the association
and its purpose structure and powers.
- By-Laws - The
By-Laws establish the procedures for the operation
of the Association through the board of directors, officers, committees and membership
- Declaration -
The Declaration defines each homeowner's property
rights and the conditions of use of the property, as well as the homeowners rights
and obligations to the Association.
For the increasingly sophisticated
home buying public, community association ownership provides for an unparalleled
quality of life, a warm neighborly atmosphere, and an overall community spirit
that is unattainable elsewhere.
Matters - Questions & Answers
answers to the most commonly or the most commonly asked questions, see this brief
and helpful document.
Planning & Funding
As community association boards of directors quickly discover, maintaining
the common area/elements of a community association is one of the main purposes
of an association. Common area/elements can be limited to something as simple
as a flower bed at the community entrance or encompass, in a condominium regime,
the entire building exterior including building roofs, stairs, siding/masonry,
landscaping, and occasionally even roads. Funds must be available in order to
expense the replacement, repair, and/or upgrade of these items when it becomes
necessary to do so.
||For a primer on the
reserve planning and funding open the Adobe document.
Board Member Orientation
- Prepares meeting agenda; or delegates task to the
- Presides at meetings of the board and Association
- Appoints and supervises all committee chairs
- Acts as liaison with property manager
- Selects and trains board members for future leadership
- Controls all meetings
- Sets a positive example for other volunteers
- Prepares meeting minutes
- Attests to the authenticity of all corporate documents
- Certifies all meeting notices and election results
- Acts as a timekeeper for all meetings
- Posts meeting and special meeting notices, as requested
- Acts as Chief Financial Officer of the Association
- Responsible for collection and expenditure of assessments
- Reviews and monitors financial statements
- Reports to the board at each meeting on budgetary matters
and summarizes financial statements as part of the Treasurer's Report. Reports include:
- The amount of cash on
- The status of
- Notes any unusual
accounts receivable and payable
- Notes actual budget
variances for the month and year (if
- Signs all checks in accordance with Association policy.
- Monitors repair/replacement of major components in
accordance with the Reserve Study
- Monitors the accounts receivable aging report in
cooperation with the Managing Agent.
- All Board Members
- Attend all
meetings completely prepared in advance
- Maintain a
professional demeanor at all times
- Ask questions
ahead of time
- Accept and
support the President as a leader
- Place all
personal issues aside
others to participate by example
- Be open and
fair at all times
surprising other board members and/or the Manager with topics and issues that
were not previously discussed
- Maintain a
all director information as confidential.
- Open Forum Meeting Conduct
In most cases the board of
directors welcomes resident attendance during the "Open Forum" period
of the meeting to ask questions and to obtain assistance.
Procedures for an Open Forum:
- Participants should
raise their hand to be recognized by the board's President.
- Participants should
state their concerns in clear and simple terms in three minutes or less.
- If a participant
would like to add a comment to a previously stated concern they should raise
their hand to be recognized. However, the Chair may limit participation to a
particular topic to one per owner.
- Participants should not interrupt others
while they are speaking.
- All maintenance
related items should be directed to Diamond Realty Management. The Open Forum is not the proper venue to
report routine maintenance items.
- The Board will
take all concerns noted during the Open Forum under consideration, and act upon
them at the appropriate time.
Board Meeting Conduct
- The board meeting is
a meeting of the directors of the Association.
- All homeowners have a vested interest in
their community. The board members were
elected to take care of those interests on their behalf.
- Business matters come
before the board when a motion is made, and seconded by another.
- Each motion has a
discussion period prior to its vote.
This discussion period takes place between members of the board and
management, if warranted, only.
- Only board
members can vote on a motion.
- To be placed on
the agenda for a future board meeting, homeowners should submit all motion item
requests or meeting topic suggestions in writing prior to the next scheduled
board meeting. Written requests, in most cases, will be accepted until the day before the
scheduled board meeting.
- Meeting Agenda
A typical agenda includes:
- Call to Order - The President announces that the meeting will now come to
- Roll Call - Board members announce that they are "present" as their respective
names are called
- Minutes - The Secretary reads the minutes of the board last meeting.
- Officer's Reports - This is often limited to a report from Treasurer, however,
others may report at this time.
- Committee Reports - Reports from "standing" or permanent committees
are heard first; then reports from "ad hoc" or special committees follow.
Business - Business unfinished from previous meetings is discussed.
- New Business - New topics are discussed.
- Announcements - All other events or
announcements are made.
- Adjournment - The meeting is adjourned by a vote, by general consent, or
by the Chair's decision if time of adjournment was prearranged by vote.