What is the role of the community association manager?
A. The role of the community association manager is to implement the decisions of the board of directors; manage the services, programs and operations of the association in accordance with the policies and guidelines set by the board; and, in the case of a professional manager, provide information, training and leadership to inexperienced board members as they set policies and make decisions on behalf of the association.
What is my role as a homeowner?
A. As a homeowner, you should assume responsibility to protect your own property value in a manner that is satisfactory with your fellow neighbors. As a member of your community association, your legal responsibilities include, but are not limited to, complying with the association’s governing documents (e.g., the declaration, bylaws and any promulgated rules and regulations) and paying your assessments, which are necessary to operate the association.
Do I have to belong to the community association and pay the member owner assessment?
A. Most governing documents state that all homeowners who own a unit or lot within the community association are automatically members of the association and therefore obligated to pay regular assessments. Assessments are most commonly paid monthly, quarterly or annually. As stated before, assessments cover the costs associated with operating the association. Failure to make your payments timely may result in a lien against your home and/or additional fees associated with the costs of collection, including attorney’s fees incurred by the association.
What does the monthly assessment pay for?
A. The assessment covers the operating and reserve expenses that the community association is legally obligated to take care of per its governing documents. Items such as insurance, taxes, water, electricity, landscaping, management fees, janitorial and pest control are just some of the expenses that may be covered by assessments. Assessments are also used to contribute the association’s reserve funds, which are funds accumulated over time to pay for future repairs and/or replacement of major components of the community property for which the association is responsible for (e.g., roofing, community-wide painting projects, street repairs, major pool/spa expenditures and clubhouse renovations). Assessments also cover the ministerial costs associated with operating a nonprofit corporation, such as state filing fees, preparation of tax returns, and reserve studies.
What are special assessments?
A. Special assessments are non-regular assessments that can be levied against the members when the association is faced with an unexpected expense from an event or common area component failure, which was not planned for in the association’s operating and/or reserve budget.
Can I pay my community association assessments electronically?
A. Yes! MRG Association Management allows members to log on to a member portal through www.montagerg.com. Click “Pay Online” and follow the prompts. Owners have the option to pay by credit card (merchant fee applies), or by e-check. Members can also set up “auto-pay” for recurring payments by logging onto your account and clicking “Pay Assessment.” Of course, you can always use the coupon or statement and mail a check directly to the community lockbox. If you have questions regarding your account number and/or password, please contact our Customer Service Manager at email@example.com.
Please remember to make all checks payable to the name of your community association and not MRG and mail to: [Insert association name], P.O. Box 1177, Commerce, Georgia 30529. Assessments are a legal obligation of each and every owner that purchases a home or lot within a community association. Your board of directors has a fiduciary duty to collect delinquent assessments on behalf of the entire community association. As such, a delinquency policy has likely been established by your board for nonpayment. This policy outlines the various consequences of failing to pay assessments, and it typically sets threshold amounts before an owner’s account is sent to the association’s attorney. The policy is mailed to all association members with their annual meeting package and is available on your community website under Policies.
How do I reserve the clubhouse?
A. For those communities that offer clubhouse reservations, you first go to the Homeowner Login section at www.montagerg.com. This will take you to the member login for your community. After entering your login and password information, go to your community’s calendar to confirm the availability for the specific date and time. Choose documents and select the clubhouse reservation form from the dropdown menu. Complete the reservation form and mail your deposit or rental checks (if applicable) made payable to your association and send to: [Insert association name] c/o MRG, 1005 Alderman Drive Suite 201, Alpharetta, Georgia 30005.
What if I forgot my username or password to the member website portal?
A. Simply email our Customer Service Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide you with a new temporary password. Please include your property address in the email. You may also click Forgot Password at the member login page. Your user name will be your email address you inserted in “My Profile” section of the community website.
What are governing documents?
A. The governing documents are the written terms and conditions for living in the association, and they will dictate the association’s operations. The governing documents usually consist of the declaration, bylaws, articles of incorporation, rules and regulations, and architectural control guidelines. Furthermore, all community associations will be governed by state statutes (e.g., the Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code, Georgia Condominium Act and Georgia Property Owners’ Association Act).
DECLARATIONS are documents recorded in the land records of the county where the association is located. They contain the most comprehensive and probably the most important information about the association, including specifics on membership, assessments, architectural control, use restrictions, duties and powers of the community association, repair and maintenance responsibilities, insurance, easements and annexations.
BYLAWS establish how the association is organized, and they set up the procedural guidelines for how the association is run, including the number of board members, the frequency of board meetings, notice requirements, quorum rules and meeting types.
RULES AND REGULATIONS are an extra set of unrecorded guidelines that supplement the use restrictions contained in the association’s declaration. They are usually adopted by the board of directors when the declaration gives them the explicit authority to do so. In addition, the rules and regulations may also be modified over time by board resolutions. The proposed changes typically become effective once the membership is mailed a copy and put on notice.
STATE STATUTES are the state laws that govern the operations of community associations. These laws establish the parameters for how these nonprofit corporations must run, and they mandate important matters regarding community associations such as financial conditions, membership meetings and record keeping. All Georgia community associations must adhere to these laws and operate under the umbrella of the Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code.
Why was I fined for violating a rule/policy?
A. Homeowners or residents who are not in compliance with their community association’s governing documents are considered to be in violation. Standard procedure typically involves sending written notice of the violation in order to enforce compliance. In some cases, a fine may be assessed depending on the nature of the matter and the express authority to do so in the association’s governing documents. Remember, purchasing a home within a community association is an agreement to adhere to all the provisions within the governing documents.
Why do I need to submit an architectural application for something as minor as painting the window panels on the exterior of my home?
A. It is important to maintain a consistent aesthetic appeal in your community since modifications can greatly impact property values. Architectural guidelines are designed to ensure that some type of community-wide standard is maintained. Before you begin work on your home, your association may require that you submit an architectural modification form. Modification forms for your specific community may be found here under Forms or on your community website under Documents.
Why can’t I get the board’s contact information to contact them directly?
A. Remember, board members are volunteers, so we will not provide their phone numbers and/or email addresses. However, under O.C.G.A. § 14-3-1602, owners can always contact a board member directly through U.S. Mail or through our office.
Why are there board meetings? Can I attend a board meeting?
A. The board of directors will be required to meet regularly in accordance with their association’s governing documents. The purpose of board meetings is to conduct business on behalf of the association. Some association bylaws will allow owners to attend board meetings, but only when the board is in “general session.” General session is where the board discusses general matters of the association that are not sensitive in nature. Oftentimes, owners can attend the general session and address the board on specific issues if the board allows. Other times, the meeting requires no involvement, but owners are allowed to attend and observe. On the other hand, the “executive session” portion of the board meeting is closed. Executive session provides a confidential forum in which the board can discuss matters of a sensitive nature, which may include contract issues, personnel issues or legal matters. Homeowners are encouraged to contact the Customer Service Manager at email@example.com with concerns, questions or any other matters they wish to discuss. The Association manager will bring these inquiries to the board’s attention.
I would like to be more involved in my community association. How do I get involved?
A. All owners are encouraged to participate in their associations, as they rely on volunteer support. There are often many opportunities within community associations to become involved. Associations will often have a social committee, landscape committee, rules and regulations committee, architectural review committee and many others. Owners find that volunteering affords them the opportunity to make a difference in their communities and is a great way to form relationships with neighbors. To get started, please go to Resources and then Forms & Downloads to complete the volunteer interest form. The appropriate team member will contact you shortly.
I would like to run for the board. Who do I need to contact?
A. To get started, please go to Resources and then Forms & Downloads to complete the Declaration of Candidacy Form. The appropriate team member will contact you upon receipt of your Declaration of Candidacy Form.