I had never heard of a “Common Interest Community” when I moved into Spring Mills and volunteered to serve on the Board of Directors of the Association. Truth is, it was three or four years later when I started studying what an HOA management thing was.
Here’s the deal; in the state of West Virginia, when a developer is starting a subdivision like Spring Mills, they are required by law to incorporate an association to eventually manage the community. They must file certain documents with the original plot plans that become a part of the development and are attached to each parcel of land within the community. The Articles of Incorporation, the Bylaws and the Covenants and Restrictions become attached to, and pass with the land as it is sold. When you buy a property in a Common Interest Community, the documents are passed along with the deed. You do not have a choice – you are bound by those documents, like it or not.
Under the state law you become bound by the covenants, conditions and restrictions of the original documents as administered by the Board of Directors of the community Association. While you are bound by the covenants and restrictions, state and local laws supersede the original documents and any laws passed that are contrary to the covenants take precedent.
Bottom line is that the covenants and restrictions are a contract between you as the property owner and the incorporated association’s Board of Directors that define what you can and cannot do in your community.
When you went to an attorney for “closing” on your property you should have signed a statement that you received a copy of the covenants and restrictions and received those covenants. If not the attorney was derelict; however, you are still bound by the records that passed with the land, including the covenants and restrictions. Not only are you bound by the covenants, you are bound by any reasonable rules and restrictions passed by the Board of Directors as empowered under Section 17 of the Spring Mills’ Bylaws.
Since the management of the Spring Mills Subdivision Unit Owners’ Association, Inc. was passed to the community in 2005, your Association has benefited from serious, talented people who volunteered their time to serve on the Board of Directors for the benefit of the community and not selfish or short term goals. Spring Mills today is a healthy and desirable community whose quality of life and property values reflect its responsible management.
- Bob Ayrer