Essential read: CAI launches new guide to community association living

A group of diverse people having a community meeting.


By: Kiara Candelaria | January 21, 2021




Community associations offer amenities, services, and advantages for people who enjoy convenience, preserved property values, and a sense of community. Learning how they are organized, governed, and managed avoids misinformation and misunderstandings and ensures a fulfilling community association living experience.

Community Association Living: An Essential Guide for Homeowner Leaders, a newly published resource from CAI, will help board members and residents understand the business of homeowners associations, condominiums, or housing cooperatives and how involvement is crucial to developing and maintaining a supportive society.

“The number of new community associations and residents increases significantly every year. Understanding the common principles of an association is crucial for all residents,” says Thomas M. Skiba, CAE, CAI’s chief executive officer. “As the leading authority in community association living, our new publication supports residents and helps them better understand their rights and responsibilities when choosing to buy or rent a home in a community association.”

Each community association has its own history, personality, and challenges, but all share core principles intended to inspire effective leadership and engaged residents. At the heart of each community are the following fundamentals:

  • The collective rights and interests of homeowners are respected and preserved.
  • Elected leaders govern in the best interests of all residents.
  • Associations provide services and amenities to residents, protect property values, and meet the established expectations of homeowners.
  • A true sense of community, active homeowner involvement, and a culture of building consensus is cultivated.
  • Residents are allowed to exercise their right to vote for responsible leaders and influence the policies that will protect their investments.
  • The community’s financial health is protected by effective management practices and sound business principles.

In addition, association leaders are legally and ethically required to enforce the association’s governing documents and abide by all applicable laws, while homeowners must accept their responsibility to abide by established policies and meet financial obligations to the association. Homeowner leaders and residents should be reasonable, flexible, and open to the possibility—and benefits—of compromise, especially when faced with divergent views.

Community Association Living: An Essential Guide for Homeowner Leaders is divided into 10 main sections that cover vital information about community associations, including shared characteristics, significance of association bylaws and governance, and how federal, state, and local laws affect community associations. Discussion questions at the end of the guide as well as an overview of available resources help readers understand how their community operates and how to lead it more effectively.

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