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Questions About Your Homeowners Association
What is a homeowners' association and what is its purpose?
Homeowners’ associations are non-profit corporations created to help preserve property values through the use of architectural controls, design guidelines and deed restrictions. Additionally, associations provide for the shared ownership and maintenance of common areas and community facilities. Assessments are charged to owners for the maintenance and upkeep of these common areas and amenities.
What is the Board of Directors and what do they do?
The Board of Directors is established in the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions to act as the governing body responsible for making decisions, establishing policies, enforcing rules and regulations and deed and use restrictions and is responsible for the collection of assessments.
What are the deed restrictions and do I have to abide by them?
Deed restrictions, are rules that govern the association and its members. The Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (“CC&R’s”) are deed restrictions that run with the land regardless of the Owner of the property. This means all current and future Owners must abide by the Restrictions. Deed restrictions are also legal constraints that dictate what an Owner can and cannot do with their Property such as architectural changes or modifications to the exterior of the home or anywhere on the Lot as well as a number of other rules and restrictions which are usually set forth in the CC&R’s or rules and regulations of the Association. These deed restrictions also provide for the collection of varying assessments from the Owner, the levying of fines for non-compliance, as well as other enforcement measures generally carried out by the Board of Directors. The deed restrictions and architectural controls set forth in the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions ensure the preservation of the original architectural design. For example, “Owners must keep fences in good repair…” You will receive a copy of the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for your Association from the title company when you close on your home. To receive an additional copy, please contact your property manager at Essex Association Management at (972) 428.2030. Please be aware additional fees maybe required.
When does the association hold meetings?
The association’s Bylaws set the guidelines for when Annual meetings and Board meetings are to be held. During the Declarant Control Period which is the time the Declarant controls all or a majority of the Board, requirements for meetings are usually less strict and may only require up to one (1) Board meeting per year. Set times in which an annual meeting is required may also be determined based on the number of Lots held by the Declarant or contingent upon the sale of a specific number of Lots by the Declarant.
What do my dues pay for?
The dues paid are used to operate the association’s business. For example, there are utilities that operate irrigation and lighting in the community. The “common areas” owned by the association must be maintained, so contractors are hired to maintain the landscaping and other amenities. The association carries general liability, property and Director’s/Officer’s liability insurance to protect the association’s assets and Board of Directors. In addition, the association pays a management company to collect dues, pay expenses, maintain the financial records, communicate with owners, supervise contractors and so on. There are taxes the association is responsible for, and the association should always plan to set aside funds for future repair or replacement of the associations capital assets.
Do I need approval to make exterior improvements to my property?
Yes. Any alterations or additions to the exterior of your property must be approved in writing by the ACC.
What if I make changes to my property without ACC approval?
Everyone must seek ACC approval in writing prior to making external changes to their property. If you make changes without prior approval, your investment could be at risk. Additionally, if your modifications are outside the guidelines of the ACC you may be required to remove or reverse the improvement(s).
If I get a building permit from the city, do I still need ACC approval?
Yes. Approval from the city does not constitute approval from the ACC. The committee still requires that your plans be submitted in writing for review.
If the ACC approves a modification for my neighbor, can I assume that the same modification will be approved for me?
No. Each property and project is different. Applications are reviewed based on the individual characteristics and circumstances for each property. Always get ACC approval before making changes to your property.
Who do I call to report problems in the community?
Essex Association Management is open five days a week, excluding holidays and weekends, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There are also ways to communicate after hours and 24-7; for emergencies after hours or on holidays or weekends, an Owner may call the afterhours emergency help line at
. An Owner may also submit a website submission 24-7 from the Essex website at
or from your Association’s website on the
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