Offering a sense of community and order, HOAs are an important element to any residential community. Providing support as well as structure, homeowner associations work hard to ensure that community standards are always upheld for the betterment of residents and property owners. In many ways, HOAs operate as their own independent “governments,” protecting property values along with providing structure and regulations regarding residential expansion.
Often governed by an appointed Board of Directors, HOAs protect the integrity of the community, following compliance with governing documents and bylaws. In doing this, HOAs are often dealing with a considerable number of documents. After all, between managing property requirements to monitoring residential expansion, even a small HOA has quite a bit of work on its hands.
Without the proper management system in place, managing these documents effectively can become overwhelming. With the need for the storage and management of these documents to be nothing short of secure, many association board members are left with more paperwork than they know what to do with. This inefficiency over time leads to a number of problems. While in violation of HOA governing bylaws, poor document management can also lead to an overwhelming number of associated problems.
What HOA Documents Are There?
Knowing how to get HOA documents and the best way to manage and organize them starts with knowing what kind of documents you’re dealing with. Because of the range of work HOAs do, there are different types of records and files. These are the basic documents you should know and what they cover.
- Declaration of Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs) — Typically the most thorough and exhaustive of the documents, CC&Rs outline the responsibilities of the parties involved and the different property regulations and maintenance standards.
- Articles of Incorporation — Contains mainly informative information about the HOA, like its purpose, location, or other important attributes of the association.
- Bylaws — Most of the regulations are found in the bylaws, which are how the association is run. Bylaws discuss matters such as voting rights of the members, budget procedures, and other processes.
- Rules and regulations— The rules and regulations are scattered throughout different documents, especially in the CC&Rs, but there are usually designated documents that cover the rules and regulations separately that go into more detail.
The Current HOA Document Management Problem
When it comes to effective document management, the problem cannot be boiled down to one single issue. As each HOA can differ, the problems each association may face can be unique as well. However, there are a few major problems that all HOAs face when they do not have the proper document storage and management solutions in place.
- Lack of organization: Often, without a digital document storage system, many HOAs rely on paper records. Far too often, board members will be handed association documents in a box, with no single storage system in place. Over time, this can lead to a paperwork nightmare, especially as board members and management change over time.
- Apathy: Redesigning an entire file system is not the most pleasant task in the world. As a result, many board members stick to old storage practices rather than adopting new techniques. However, apathy can lead to legal consequences if documents are not stored securely.
- Inadequate security: Countless HOAs still rely on outdated document management tactics. With many associations relying on passing documents from one board director to the next, too many associations are allowing themselves to be susceptible to error. Not only can papers get lost in translation, but they also are at a higher security risk with inadequate security measures in place.
- Regulation compliance: While specific association policies can vary, all HOA guidelines dictate some form of record retention. Depending on the association and the document, time frames can range from holding documents 3-7 years, to destroying them at will, to even retaining them forever. Due to these guidelines, HOAs are often managing a considerable amount of information. Over time, finding enough room for all of this printed paper becomes challenging and inefficient unless document storage software is incorporated.
A Better Storage and Management Solution
If one thing is evident, it is that too many HOAs are not handling their document storage or management effectively. Often overstressed and overworked, many HOA board members simply settle for old practices. However, there is hope.
Digital document storage makes managing HOA documents a far more efficient and secure process. Securing all of your documents safely and equipped with the ability to access them instantly, digital document management is a better storage solution. Rather than worrying about keeping storage rooms full of important HOA-related documents, you can now keep all of your documents in one place. With the ability to set up unique access and control settings, storing and managing HOA documents just became a whole lot easier. When people ask how to get HOA documents or reviews via state laws are requested, everything will be easy to locate. The benefits don’t end there though.
Benefits of Document Storage Software
Not sure what to expect from document storage software? In addition to creating more efficiency within your operations, digital storage also offers several other noteworthy advantages.
- Superior contact management: Do you often find yourself dealing with countless contacts to manage? eFileCabinet’s document storage software solution makes contact management an effortless process. All of your contacts are easily accessible and searchable with digital document storage.
- More efficient structure: When was the last time your bylaws were updated? If your association is still operating on a primarily paper-based system, updating bylaws could be a daunting task. Scrounging for old records while simultaneously trying to update the new ones, document storage software eliminates this nuisance. Access any record instantly and update it with ease!
- Enhanced security: HOAs need to not only regulate bylaws in accordance with HOA regulations but also enforce them as well. With a secure document management system in place, bylaws can be easily enforced and referenced. In addition, enhanced security is achieved with superior security protection. With secure sharing, it’s easy to share HOA documents within the office and when other people request documentation—eFileCabinet makes secure sharing simple and safe.
Homeowner associations must remain vigilant in properly managing all HOA-related documents. Whether a small association or a large network, all HOAs need efficient document management systems in place. After all, why make it harder than it needs to be? Document management can be a breeze with our innovative digital storage solutions. Explore Rubex to make your document management easier than ever.