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What do you do if one of your HOA’s governing documents conflicts with another document or with your state or national rights? Do your board members and HOA manager know how to handle this situation if a homeowner or member notices a conflict in the writing?

As an HOA board member, while it’s important to review and understand all governing documents of your association, you’ll need to know how to filter through all of the information and know which document to follow if someone finds something that’s not consistent.

In case this does happen, use this hierarchy guide to help decide which rules come out on top.

1. Federal and State Laws and Statutes

Keep in mind these laws and statutes take precedence over your HOA’s governing documents. Examples would be the Americans with Disability Act and the Fair Housing Act.

2. Recorded Map, Plan, or Plat

A map or plat that was recorded with your association’s county before any lots were sold are next. They are there to establish maintenance responsibility and property location.

3. CC&Rs (Deed Restrictions)

Your deed restrictions are part of the owner’s document which details expectations and limitations for usage of land. These are the top priority in HOA documents, and are therefore the hardest to make amendments to.

4. Articles of Incorporation

When the HOA is legally created as a corporation, this document is filed with your association’s state.

5. HOA Bylaws

The purpose of your association’s bylaws are to establish guidelines on the association’s internal affairs. You’ll find member and board requirements and record keeping guidelines in this document.

6. Board Rules/Resolutions

HOA resolutions are policies that are formally enacted and adopted regarding areas like collections, common area regulations, and covenant enforcement. Rules can only be adopted by the board if they don’t conflict with the governing documents and after they’ve been reviewed by the association’s attorney.