FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Without the timely payment of assessments a community association is not able to adequately operate, maintain, preserve, and enhance its common property. Payments not received on or before the first day of the month for which they are due will be assessed a Late Fee. If an assessment account remains delinquent, State Statute and the association’s governing documents empower the association to take further collection action. This additional collection activity includes forwarding the account to a collection’s attorney, placing a lien on the property, and possibly even proceeding with foreclosure on the property. If you have questions concerning your assessment account, please complete our Accounting Request form.
We can process E-Check or Credit Card payments through our banking partner, Mutual of Omaha Bank. While these additional payment methods are available, the bank does charge a nominal processing fee to help off-set the fees charged by the bank or credit card companies to process the transaction. For more information or to make an E-Check or Credit Card payment please visit the Homeowner Resources section of our website. PLEASE NOTE: When processing your payment you will be asked for specific account information which can be found on your statement. If you have any questions or do not have a statement available, please contact our Account Department so we can assist you through the process.
ACH stands for ‘Automated Clearing House’ and is also commonly know as Direct Debit or Sure-Pay. ACH is the system whereby the Federal Reserve facilitates the automatic transfer of funds from one bank account to another. After receiving a completed authorization form and voided check from the homeowner, our office generates an electronic file containing a description of the homeowner’s account (routing number and account number from the voided check provided), and the dollar amount of the transfer. This file is transmitted to our bank, which forwards it to the Federal Reserve, and the transfer is processed. Our office automatically processes the transfer on approximately the 5th day of the month for which the assessment is due and is a great way for homeowners to know their assessments are automatically being paid. If you are interested in signing up for ACH please the Homeowner Resources portion of our website to download the required Authorization Form.
Our office can absolutely process assessment payments made via electronic payments through most any online banking system. In fact, when a homeowner pays their assessment payments through an online banking service, their banking institution generates and mails a physical check on their behalf. When our office receives the physical check it is processed just like any other payment we receive without a coupon (see above). Consequently, when a homeowner establishes this type of payment through their online banking system it is vital that they confirm that their property address, full name, and account number will be provided on the front of the check. Based on our experience of processing these types of payments, it is also important to point out that there is often a significant delay between when a homeowner schedules a payment and when our office actually receives the physical check. In order to avoid late fees, we recommend that homeowners account for this delay by scheduling these payments well in advance of the due date. Homeowners who pay this way are also encouraged to consider direct debit (ACH) payments instead, as it is faster, incurs no fees, and is less susceptible to error (see below).
As long as some vital information is contained on the front of the check, our office can easily process assessment payments sent in without a coupon. In order to accurately post payments sent in without a coupon, homeowners need to make sure the full name of the association along with the property address, owner’s name, and account number are on the face of the check. If you have further questions or need to verify your account number please contact our Accounting Department.
Assessments are comprised of two major components: operating expenses and reserve fund contributions. Operating expenses consist of the cost of goods and services used to operate the association and maintain the common property on an annual basis. Reserve fund contributions consist of funds that are put aside (saved) for the replacement or maintenance of major components of the common property when they begin to deteriorate in the future. The anticipated operating expenses and the annual reserve fund contributions are divided by the number of units or homes in the community to determine the amount of the assessment. Annual budgets are developed by the Board, adjusting the assessment amount to meet the anticipated expenses for the upcoming fiscal year.
An assessment is each owner’s financial obligation to the community association and represents their share of the common expenses of the community. An assessment is not optional, it is a binding legal obligation based on State Statute and the association’s governing documents.
While Trestle Management Group handles most of the day-to-day operational activities for the association, some of the work and all of the decision-making is left up to community volunteers. Ultimately, volunteerism is the lifeblood of any community association. Volunteerism is a great way to meet new neighbors, helps build a sense of community, and often leads to community programs and services that would not otherwise exist. There are a number of different ways homeowners can become involved with the association. Please consider sharing some of your time and talents toward building a better community. For more information, please complete our Volunteer Application form and a designated member of your association will contact you shortly.
If I am having a problem with a neighbor concerning a potential violation of the community guidelines, what should I do?
If you are experiencing a problem with a neighbor that may be in violation of the community guidelines, the association relies on you (whenever possible) to first attempt to resolve the situation with your neighbor directly. If the situation is not resolved through neighborly means, then your association may become involved. You can notify the association of an alleged violation by completing our Report a Violation form. Upon receiving the completed form and confirming that the situation is in violation of the association’s governing documents, the Board of Directors will institute the applicable enforcement policy. Your active participation and assistance may be needed throughout the enforcement process and your original complaint will be kept on file for any required future reference as required by state law.
A management company is contracted by the Board of Directors to provide association management expertise and to manage the day-to-day operational activities of the association on behalf of the Board of Directors. The management company reports directly to the Board of Directors and all decisions are made by a majority vote of the Board of Directors, not the management company. Besides providing a much needed business presence for the corporation, the management company provides a means of efficient communication for community contractors, homeowners, and Board members. Some of the services Trestle Management Group provides our association clients include: general Board support, compliance enforcement, risk management, administrative support, assessment collection, financial management, and community maintenance / contractor oversight. To learn more about the wide variety of services Trestle Management Group provides your community association, please visit the Management Services portion of our website. For contact information for Trestle Management Group, please visit the Contact Us portion of our website.
Yes, Board meetings are open and interested homeowners are encouraged to attend. Prior to the beginning of each meeting a Homeowner’s Forum is typically held for homeowners in attendance to address the Board and ask questions. Once the meeting is called to order, homeowners are welcome to listen and observe but are not permitted to participate in the actual board meeting. Notice of the date, time, and location of your association’s next Board meeting can be found by visiting your Community Website. By visiting your community Website you will also have access to view approved Board meeting minutes from recently held meetings. If you do not already know the web address and password for your Community Website you can request this information by completing our Community Website request form or by contacting our office.
In order for a community association to govern effectively, the owners elect a Board of Directors to act on their behalf. After the period of Declarant control, the elected Board of Directors is comprised of volunteer homeowners of the community that have been entrusted with most of the decision-making authority for the association. The Board of Directors is charged with the ultimate responsibility and authority for operating the community association on behalf of the owners. Due to the magnitude of responsibilities and the volunteer nature of their positions, the Board of Directors hire a Management Company to assist them to effectively manage the often complex affairs of the association.
Nearly all associations have Design Review of Architectural Guidelines with procedures for submitting requests to make exterior modifications to a home or property within the community. The Design Review Process is an important way for your association to help maintain, protect, and enhance property values within the association by preserving the architectural integrity of the community. Such modifications may include landscaping modifications, additions, exterior color changes, patios, sheds, or extensive interior modifications and additions. If an owner proceeds with an exterior improvement or modification without the prior written approval of the Board of Directors or Design Review Committee, as applicable, the owner will be required to remove or correct the alteration(s) and/or may be subject to substantial fines for the violation. An owner can begin the Design Review Process by submitting a Design Review Application for the association’s review. If you have a question about whether or not your planned project requires approval, please complete our General Questions request form.
Most associations have developed Rules and Regulations as provided for in the CC&Rs and adopted by the Board of Directors. Rules are established to provide additional guidelines to homeowners for common issues such as parking, pets, trash containers, pool hours, etc. In addition, many associations adopt various Resolutions that further develop policy and administrative regulations for the association. Pursuant to the governing documents previously discussed, violations of these rules may result in action by the Board of Directors which may include monetary fines. In addition, nearly all associations also have procedures in place that homeowners must follow before making any exterior modifications to their home or property (see Design Review Process for more details).
Each of these documents are available for viewing and/or printing on your Community Website provided by Trestle Management Group. If you do not already know the web address and password for your Community Website you can request this information by completing our Community Website request form or by contacting our office.
The Bylaws detail the guidelines for the administration and operation of the non-profit corporation. The Bylaws often define the duties and terms of the Board of Directors, requirements for membership meetings, the membership’s voting rights, required meetings and notices of meetings, procedures for electing the Board of Directors, and other items necessary to run the association as a legal corporation.
The Articles of Incorporation are the legal documents filed with the state that establish the community association as a non-profit corporation. The Articles of Incorporation further define the purpose, power, and structure of the corporation. Creating this corporate structure helps limit the liability of individual owners and entitles the community association to the rights provided to other corporations under state law.
The Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs), also referred to as the Declaration, are the governing legal documents that were recorded by the County Recorder’s Office of the County in which the property is located and are included in the title to your property. The CC&Rs establish the guidelines for the operation of the community association and further define the bundle of rights of each owner. Among other things, these legal documents establish protective standards, restrictions, and obligations in areas ranging from architectural control to prohibitions on various activities in order to promote harmonious living within the community.
A community association is a non-profit corporation comprised of a group of homeowners who wish to provide for a means of preserving, maintaining, and enhancing the quality of the property and lifestyle of their community. Community associations provide for the management, maintenance, operation, repair, and replacement of the property ‘commonly’ owned by all the members of the association. In other words, community associations make it possible to own and enjoy community services and amenities with your neighbors that would normally be too costly for individuals to own and maintain on their own. Membership in a community association is mandatory and automatic upon the purchase of property within the community.