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Planned Communities

Hyatt & Stubblefield, P.C., is perhaps best known for assisting developers in creating condominium and planned community governance structures and documentation tailored to meet the requirements of their projects and their specific goals.

 

Association Structure

 

We work with the development team to determine the best mechanisms for handling:

  • Community administration and governance
  • Maintenance and preservation of common areas and amenities; and
  • Creation and enforcement of community-wide standards of maintenance, architecture, and use

while maintaining a balance between community and individual rights and preserving the flexibility to respond to changes in market demand and the needs and desires of the community.

 

Governing Documents

 

Once decisions are made regarding the association structure, we prepare the project's governing documents, which typically include a community charter or declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions, as well as the articles of incorporation and by-laws for the community association. These are not "one-size-fits-all" forms, but rather carefully tailored to meet the needs of the particular community, whether a residential community with one or more housing types, a mixed- used development with office, retail, or other commercial components, or an age-qualified community structured to satisfy the requirements of the Housing for Older Persons Act and local fair housing laws.

 

Training

 

We work with the marketing staff and those appointed to serve on the association's board of directors to ensure that they fully understand the governing documents, the rights and responsibilities of the various parties, the representations that may and may not be made, and the duties of board members.  All of these issues can substantially affect the developer's risks and liabilities, and it is most important to address them early in the process, particularly from a marketing perspective.

 

Operations

 

We work diligently to identify areas of potential liability and assist developers in structuring their projects and operating their associations to avoid litigation and disruption. We are available to assist developers throughout the development and sale period on issues relating to association operations, including:

  • Duties and responsibilities of developer appointees on the association's board of directors
  • Architectural control procedures and enforcement of design standards
  • Association financial issues, including proper expenditures, budgeting, and assessments
  • Maintenance and repair of common areas
  • Association insurance
  • Rulemaking and enforcement of covenants and rules
  • Management role and responsibilities
  • Transition from developer to owner control
  • Compliance with documentation, monitoring, and verification requirements for age-restricted communities

We often conduct in-house seminars for marketing and association operational staff, draft agreements, consult on association service contracts, and deal with lenders, insurance agents, local governments, and others to ensure that the association operates smoothly and efficiently under developer control and thereafter.

 

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