Articles of
Incorporation

Documents that create the association as an Indiana nonprofit corporation with the Indiana Secretary of State and outline its basic structure. The Articles of Incorporation might consist of just 2 pages, or they might be many pages long, depending upon whoever wrote them.

 


Assessment

Fees owed by and collected from association members (homeowners or condo owners). This is the means by which associations pay their expenses. Other words sometimes used for assessments are “dues” or “fees,” but they usually mean the same thing. Typically, a community’s governing documents will have two types of assessments: regular assessments and special assessments.

 


Bylaws

Provisions that govern how the association conducts matters such as quorums, board member elections, the officers, notices of meetings, and meeting agendas.

 


CC&Rs

Short for Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions. Sets forth restrictions on the use of the owners’ homes and the common area. Such covenants can be titled differently, but Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions is the most commonly used term.

 


Common Areas

These are the parcels of land that are normally owned by the HOA for the benefit of the homeowners. The common areas vary greatly from one community to the next. For example, a community might have common areas that include a playground, swimming pool, clubhouse, and ponds, while another community might have common areas just at the entrance of the community. The plat will show the boundaries of the common areas. For a condominium, the common areas are not owned by the HOA, but rather by all condo unit owners as tenants in common.

 


Common Elements

Some condo documents use this term to refer to their common areas.

 


Directors & Officers Liability Coverage

Insurance coverage that protects board members from lawsuits related to their position on the HOA board.

 


Governing Documents

General term for collectively referring to the most important documents such as Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, and Rules and Regulations.

 


Horizontal
Property Regime

This is the term that was originally used for condominiums in Indiana. Many such communities are now called condominiums. Indiana has a very specific statute that only applies to condominiums.

 


Lien

A claim against a property for unpaid assessments that is filed with the County Recorder.

 


Limited Common Areas

Most condominiums have this term defined in their Declaration. A limited common area is a portion of the common areas that is simply reserved for the exclusive use of one condo unit. A rear patio or deck is a typical limited common area.

 


Plat

The document filed by the developer with the County Recorder that shows the overall layout of the community. The plat will show the exact boundaries of the lots, roads and common areas.

 


Quorum

This is the number of owners or Board members necessary for business to be conducted at a meeting. Most documents for HOAs state that an owner can participate in an HOA meeting either in person or by proxy.

 


Reserve Funding

Money set aside for anticipated long-term expenditures. Most governing documents state that the reserve funds cannot be used to pay for ordinary expenses. Many HOAs and condominiums have professional reserve studies prepared so that their Boards know how much money should be set aside each month or each year in order to meet the requirements of major projects in the future.