Rights and Responsibilities

Community association Boards have experienced a rash of bad publicity from the local media and from the Colorado legislature. Board meetings of some associations are lasting longer than ever and often contain more strife and animosity. The task of running an association is becoming increasingly complex as well. In some cases, both Board members and owners lose sight of their ultimate goals—to administer the common elements and to promote the best interests of the residents in the community. A general outline of principles may bring the parties' respective objectives back into focus.

To help define these principles, the Community Associations Institute has published "Rights and Responsibilities" which can be located at the following link: http://www.caionline.org/rightsandresponsibilities/rights.pdf

What is unique about the Rights and Responsibilities document is that it sets forth the relative obligations and expectations of both Board members and owners. This is extremely helpful to get beyond the "us verses them" tension that arises when Board members believe that owners are only useful to the extent that they pay their assessments and follow the rules and when owners believe that a Board is only working properly when it keeps to itself and does not raise assessments. This document illustrates the tremendous potential that can be realized when a community is united in its goals.

This document can serve as a mission statement for individuals within a community and may help guide them through a particular problem that may be filled with emotion and conflict. It may also help to demystify the function of an association board to owners who have little experience living in a common interest community. The principles outlined in Rights and Responsibilities can create a strong force to bring opposing parties together.