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Frequently Asked Questions

HOA Basics

What is a homeowner's association (HOA)?

A homeowner's association or HOA is a non-profit corporation registered with the State and managed by a duly elected Board of Directors. Its purpose is to maintain all common areas and to govern the community association in accordance with the provision of the legal documents: CC&R's, Bylaws, and Articles of Incorporation. The governing legal documents for the association may be viewed online within the Resource Center page of this site. The corporation is financially supported by all members of the homeowner's association (HOA). Membership in the homeowner's association (HOA) is both automatic and mandatory.

What are the benefits of an HOA?

There are many advantages to living in a homeowners association. Just drive through many of the old developments that do not have a homeowners association and you can immediately notice the difference. Associations help protect your property value and assist in creating a pleasant place to live for years to come. Communities with a homeowners association usually feature attractive combinations of well-designed homes and landscaped open spaces. The houses may even cost less than traditional housing due to more efficient use of land. Many associations feature parks, pools and other amenities, often too expensive for you to own alone, can be yours through shared ownership. So now you have a chance to enjoy the pool, tennis court, or other recreational facilities that may have been unaffordable previously. What’s more, you won’t have direct responsibility for maintenance, so you won’t have to clean the pool, fix the tennis nets, etc.

 By delivering services at the direction of their members, community associations meet the expectations of residents by working to provide a clean, well-maintained living environment, preserving the nature of the community and protecting property values. Many times we have a homeowner call our office upset and frustrated over receiving a compliance letter, only to call the next week asking for the association’s help in correcting an issue with their neighbor. Cooperation and compliance are accomplished through governing documents that typically address architectural guidelines (dealing with items such as additions, decks, landscaping, paint colors, maintenance of the yard, fence, and house) and rules pertaining to issues such as noise, pets and parking. Enforced fairly and equitably, these documents guide the management and governance of the association and are generally consistent with zoning and other provisions of the larger civil community in which the association is located.

Q: What is an "association management company," what do they do, and how do I reach them?

A: An association management company is contracted by the Board of Directors to provide such services as: Collection of assessments, supervision of subcontractors, obtaining bids for subcontracted services, providing financial statements and collection reports, as well as a general clearing house for problem solving, communications with homeowners and the Board of Directors and to serve in an advisor capacity. The association management company reports directly to the Board and all decisions are made by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. The association management company may be reached online through the Management Office page on this website or by phone from the numbers listed on the Contact Us page on this site. 

Where does my money go?

The money you pay for association dues goes towards a number of things and depends on the neighborhood you live in. Dues generally pay for the association insurance policies, landscaping services by a professional landscaper, management of the association by a professional management company, enforcement of the rules, property and income taxes, reserve funding for future repairs and maintenance, watering of association owned common areas, sprinkler repairs and maintenance, lighting of common area elements and signs, flowers, replacing and/or updating landscaping, removing graffiti, maintaining the entrance signs (painting, cleaning, etc.), neighborhood social events, newsletters, etc.

What are the CC&R'S?

The Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R's) are the governing legal documents that set up the guidelines for the operation of the planned community association as a non-profit corporation. The CC&R's 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. Failure to abide by the CC&R's may result in a fine to a homeowner by the Association. The governing legal documents for the association may be viewed online within the Resource Center page of this site. 

What are the Bylaws?

The Bylaws are the guidelines for the operation of the non-profit corporation. The Bylaws define the duties of the various offices of the Board of Directors, the terms of the Directors, the membership's voting rights, required meetings and notices of meetings, and the principal office of the Association, as well as other specific items that are necessary to run the Association as a business. The Bylaws for the association may be viewed online within the Resource Center page of this site. 

What is the Board of Directors?

The Homeowner's Association (HOA) again is a corporation and therefore a governing body that is required to oversee its business. The Board of Directors is elected by the homeowners, or as otherwise specified in the bylaws. The limitation and restrictions of the powers of the Board of Directors is outlined in the Association governing documents found within the Resource Center page of this site. 

Are there any other rules?

Most community associations have developed Rules and Regulations as provided for in the CC&R's and adopted by the Board of Directors. Rules are established to provide direction to the homeowners for common courtesies with regard to parking, vehicles, pets and pool use hours, etc. In addition, your Association will adopt Architectural Guidelines with procedures for submitting requests to make exterior changes to your home. Such changes may include patio covers, decks, landscaping, exterior color changes or extensive interior changes and additions. These rules and guidelines are set up to maintain the aesthetic value and integrity of the community on behalf of all owners, and hopefully protect the market value of your investment as well. Violations of these rules may result in action by the Board of Directors and a fine. In addition, if you proceed with an exterior improvement or change, without written approval of the Board of Directors, or Architectural Committee, as applicable, you will be required to remove or correct the alteration and/or be fined for the violation. 

If I am having a problem with a neighbor for a violation of the Policies and Guidelines, what can I do?

If Association members cannot resolve a situation between themselves, then turn to your Association. 

Should you have a situation that does not appear to be resolved through neighborly means, and you are willing to actively participate in the enforcement provided by the Community's Policies and Guidelines, you may complete and submit a Homeowner Issue and Action Form to CEPCO.   

Please click on the gold box in this section to access the Homeowner Issue and Action Form.   Forms can be completed electronically and emailed to CEPCO at admin@cepco-nc.com or mailed directly to either Wilmington or Leland office locations for review and follow up.

Are Board Meetings open to all residents? If so, where and when are they held?

Yes. Notice of the time and place of any regular association board meeting will be noted in the community newsletter, or accessed online on the Calendar page. 

If I want to serve on a committee, how do I find out what committees are active and how I can get involved?

The Contact Us page of the community website will inform you of the status of current committees organized and committee contact information. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the committee chair or fill out the online volunteer form found on the Management Office page of this site. 

What is my assessment?

The assessment is the periodic amount due from each homeowner to cover the operating expenses of the common area and provide for reserve funds for replacement of Association's common facilities in future years. Your assessments are due on the first of the month. 

How is the amount of my assessment determined?

The Department of Real Estate typically requires an initial budget from the developer for each community that a developer proposes to build. This budget is set upon specific guidelines for utilities, landscaping, administration, etc. Reserve funds are monies set aside for future expenses due to the life expectancy of certain items: lighting, street resurfacing, pool equipment, etc. These amounts are then divided by the number of units built in a given phase of the development. Subsequent budgets are developed by the Association's Board of Directors and adjusted periodically to meet anticipated expenses of the Association. 

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