How many of you are dealing with the issue of a master association? "What does this mean?" some of you might ask.
This means that in addition to your own condominium or homeowners' association, you are also obligated to be an assessment-paying member of another association which has certain overall control regarding the entire community in which you live.
If you live in a condominium association, you should have knowledge of the existence of a master association because you are entitled to receive a Question and Answer Sheet and one of the questions pertains to whether or not there is a master association. If you live in an HOA, you will not receive such information so be sure to ask your seller when purchasing if there is a master association to which you must also belong in addition to the HOA.
The absolute bare minimum you need to know about a master association follows:
1. Who are members of the master association, all of the individual owners or the sub-associations?
2. Is the master association board elected and, if so, by whom or is the master board automatically comprised of certain directors from the sub-associations?
3. What are the rights and responsibilities of the master board? What common areas does it maintain, repair and replace?
4. Can the master board enforce your own community's governing documents in the event your board fails to do so?
5. Are the master association's documents more restrictive than your sub-association documents and which set prevails as it pertains to your individual unit/home use?
6. How does the master association collect its dues? Are fees collected directly from all owners or do the sub-association boards collect and remit the portion of assessments owed to the master?
7. Does the master board have the right to lien you for nonpayment of assessments or to fine you for certain use violations?
Not surprisingly, sub-associations and their master associations do become combative with each other at times. Much of that stems from either a misinterpretation of their respective governing documents or the failure of the community's developer to create a development scheme that laid the groundwork for a properly functioning master/sub relationship.
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