The Brookshire Board of Directors recommends that Brookshire convert to a Property Owners Association. By submitting to the Georgia POA, The Brookshire Home Owners Association (residents), and its elected board, gain some additional powers to enforce the covenants of the community. These powers affect board processes and ability to manage the neighborhood, but do not substantively change the nature of the Association.
POA Docs and Voting
We did not have enough attendance from at the September POA meeting to make quorum or vote. So all voting will be done via written consent form (link below).
Current vote tally
85 / 624 (416 “For” votes required to pass)
For POA conversion
Against POA conversion
- POA Submission: Declaration Condensed Amendment for Voting
- Written Consent form (vote): Written Consent Form – Declaration Only
Being a POA provides the association’s elected Board of Directors with more tools to manage and enforce neighborhood covenants. It does NOT change the structure of the Association, or the scope of the management of the Association.
Some key points:
- Liens on unpaid assessments or other charges are automatic. Statutory liens and paper liens are not filed in the county records.
- This ONLY makes liens automatic (and no cost) rather than subject to an elected board’s ‘minimum’.
- This reduces cost to the Association and to owners by eliminating court filing fees and attorney fees for the lien.
- This helps ensure the past due balances owed to the Association get paid at a sale closing.
- Being a POA ensures that all owners are subject to all amendments to the covenants when duly approved by the required 67% majority
- Being a POA gives the Association the ability, in appropriate cases, to foreclose its lien subject to superior liens, which makes foreclosure a collection option for chronically delinquent owners.
There are other items of note.
Please read up on the act here and Pankey & Horlock (the Association’s attorneys) have provided an analysis of the benefits of a POA . You also can search Georgia Property Owner Association Act for other firms’ thoughts and information.
The Board has created this FAQ to address many of the resident questions. We ask that, as a homeowner, you please read through this information to help form your perspective and respond and vote. Your input matters, no matter your viewpoint.
What is a POA?
Following a trend across the country, in 1994 Georgia passed the Georgia Property Owner’s Association (“POA”) Act. The Act provided a standardized template for Covenant provisions for key topics such as collection of assessments, voting, notice of meetings, and powers and duties of Associations. A Homeowner’s Association must pass an amendment to its Declaration of Covenants if it wishes to submit itself to the terms and conditions of the Act.
Are other communities nearby a POA?
Developers in Georgia did not originally adopt the POA because of provisions which would require the developer to pay assessments for lots not yet built/completed. Developers wanted to avoid these assessments until a lot was built and sold to a homeowner. The Act was amended in 2004 to allow developers to exempt lots under certain conditions. Since that time, nearly all neighborhood Associations developed are governed by the Georgia POA. Additionally, several older neighborhoods around us have gone through the process of transitioning from HOA to POA.
What is required for Brookshire to adopt the POA Act?
An amendment to our current Declaration of Covenants is required. This would be the first amendment to Brookshire Covenants since inception. To amend our Covenants, an affirmative vote is required from two-thirds (2/3) of homes in our neighborhood. Because collecting responses from over 625 homes takes time, the Board has not set a time frame, but is starting now and wishes to complete this task during 2022.
Does converting to a POA cause leasing restrictions?
That would be a separate amendment and vote from the community. The current Board and many residents have discussed the need for leasing restrictions in the community and recognizes that the POA would be required first to enable enforcement. Future Boards would need to propose and obtain two-thirds (2/3) community vote for leasing restrictions in a separate amendment.
Does the community have input?
The Board has requested input and questions from the residents through email and social media. In addition to hosting a Special Meeting on September 2nd with the HOA attorney to discuss and answer resident questions. Approximately 150 homeowners participated.
What are the primary benefits of a POA vs. an HOA? T
here are many, but the primary benefits are listed below:
- Automatic Statutory Liens and Lien Priority.
After becoming a POA, the Association will no longer be required to file liens at the county courthouse for homeowners who are seriously delinquent on the HOA fees or other related charges as this can be costly and many times unrecoverable. Instead, a POA creates an automatic statutory lien against all owner’s lot. In other words, the Act provides notice to prospective purchasers that they should contact the Association for a statement of account prior to closing a loan or sale of the home. As a result, closing attorneys, title examiners, purchasers, or owners going forward will contact the Association for a statement of any amounts owed to the Association prior to concluding a sale or refinance of the lot. Additionally, the POA improves the priority of the lien, helping to ensure payment at the time of sale.
- Joint and Several Liability to Pay Assessments.
If a current owner sells the home without the Association collecting the past due assessments owed to the community, the Association can proceed to attempt to collect those unpaid assessments against the new owner of the property. (Note that the new owner can then seek reimbursement from the previous owner, but the Association would not be involved in that dispute.) In most cases, this is not necessary as the HOA and management company have processes in place via automatic statutory liens (see above).
- Enforceable Amendments.
Currently with an HOA, more restrictive Covenant amendments are only enforceable against the specific owners who consented to that amendment. By submitting to the POA, communities can ensure that Covenant amendments are enforceable against all owners in the community, including those who did not vote or disapproved the amendment. This advantage is most applicable to an Association who may wish to enact leasing restrictions with a future amendment. Without the POA, leasing restrictions are impossible to move forward with.
- Future Amendments:
Today, the Association must obtain a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the homeowners to pass an amendment. This will not change. We have added means for future boards to collect proxies if there is apathy throughout the neighborhood. This means if the association proposes an amendment through traditional means to collect a response and the homeowner has not responded, the amendment allows for an Association to send that owner a copy of the amendment by certified mail. If the homeowner still does not respond within 30 days of confirming receipt of certified mail, then the homeowner is automatically agreeing to the amendment recommended by the HOA Board. The standard POA outlines a similar means to mortgage holders with a turnaround time of 30 days, but we have modified this amendment to allow additional time of 60 days for homeowners to respond with another 30 days following receipt of certified mail.
In most cases, the threat of foreclosure causes delinquent accounts to be resolved in a manner before it reaches this point. However, the POA allows an Association to judicially foreclose on its liens for assessments or other charges over $2,000. This means that the Association has the right to request an order from the court allowing the Association to foreclose on its lien without first paying off all superior liens (such as the mortgage/bank). The primary purpose of foreclosure is to terminate the delinquent owner’s ownership of the property to keep past due assessments from continuing to accrue. There is no guarantee an Association will receive any funds because of foreclosure. However, the foreclosure process can be extremely beneficial to stop the financial burden to the Association.
- Initiation Fee:
This allows for all new owners to contribute to the reserve fund that the current homeowners have been contributing to keep HOA in the best possible shape.
- Foreclosure Administration Fee:
This allows the Association to collect money from homes that have been foreclosed on by other vendors. Foreclosures are usually a drain on the Association time and money and assessments and/or fines are not usually collected.
What are all the rules of a POA ?
Other than the changes in the proposed amendment, the POA will not change the existing bylaws or covenants governing the community.
Everything in your declaration and covenants will stat the same, except that we are subject to Property Owner Association act.
See the Georgia POA act information linked above.
The biggest difference seems that the Board/residents would enforce covenants vs. using a management company to handle that. I understand some decisions are currently made by the board, but only what’s allowed by the current regulations.
There is no difference between who makes the decisions and enforces the covenants.
The Board of Directors is responsible for enforcing the covenants and rules of the Association. The property management company simply helps the Board with the day-to-work of enforcing the covenants, collecting assessments, and managing and maintaining the Association Property. Homeside works for the Association. The Board of Directors makes the decisions and Homeside takes direction from the Board. That will not change if the Association submits to the Georgia POA.
A POA is much larger than a HOA, and can control many businesses in your area also, so I’m not sure bigger is better? Then Brookshire wouldn’t be their main concern or priority…right? Google pros/cons of HOA vs POA.
This is incorrect. Brookshire as an HOA or POA has the same scope and size. It controls not business. Submitting to the Georgia POA simply expands some of the Association’s powers to help the Association fulfill its duties.
The Georgia Property Owners’ Association Act (“Georgia POA”) is a Georgia statute that expands some of the powers of the homeowners association. Submitting Brookshire Homeowners Association to the Georgia POA will not create a new or separate entity from the existing HOA and the structure of the Association will remain the same. The Association’s primary purpose is to enforce the covenants of the community, manage and maintain the common property owned by the Association, and to collect assessments to cover the expenses necessary to fulfill these duties.
Which if any gives the homeowner more say so [an HOA or POA]?
There is no difference.
The homeowners elect the Board of Directors and the Board of Directors is responsible for the enforcing the covenants and rules of the Association. If the homeowners don’t agree with what the Board is doing, then homeowners can replace the Board by voting for new Board members at the annual meeting. That will not change if the Association submits to the Georgia POA.
Any effect on yearly assessments with a POA?
Does this change the process on how fines are levied?
All current processes dealing with compliance and assessment remain the same
With a POA, a lien can be placed on my home for only a small fine.
The Statutory Lien process used under a POA is different and beneficial for both the resident and the HOA.
- An HOA can place liens for any amount owed; the limiting factor has been the cost and effort to file with the courts vs the amount owed being worth it.
- This ONLY makes liens automatic (and no cost) rather than subject to an elected board’s subjective minimum
- This reduces cost the neighborhood as no filing and attorney fees are necessary
- This reduces cost to any owner in arrears, as they only have to pay the amount owned, and not the legal costs related to the filing of the lien.
- The lien is automatically removed as soon as the owner is up to date; in the case of the current method, it has to be cleared through the court.
- The lien will not affect credit score
How will “curb appeal “items be enforced with a POA?
That will not change.
Does converting to a POA cause leasing caps?
That is a separate change the board is considering and will be voted on separately. Being a POA will allow Brookshire to require compliance if passed.
What does the current data show for rentals in our neighborhood?
18% of which the Association is aware of
What % of houses are we looking to allow to stay as renters?
Practically speaking, how will the board know who are renters and how can this be enforced?
The Board of Directors entered into a Management Agreement with Homeside Properties. They will collect all required documentation from the Lessor as required in the leasing provision of the governing documents. Homeside will maintain and update a database outlining homes leased, lease expiration dates, lease terms, and the tenant name. This cost is paid by the Owner/Lessor.
What happens to current renters?
Under Georgia law, owners who are currently renting their lot can continue to do so until they sell their lot.
Does this change how Homeside (or any property management vendor the board may hire) interacts with Brookshire residents?
All a POA does is provide better enforcement tools for the elected board representing the homeowners, and ensure all owners are subject to duly adopted amendments.
Will Homeside Properties manage the POA
Will Nicky Chance be our Manager
Has Nicky ever managed a POA?
Is Homeside Properties is responsible for enforcing our covenants?
The Board of Directors for the Association, which is elected by the homeowners, is responsible for enforcing the covenants and rules of the Association. The property management company simply helps the Board with the day-to-work of enforcing the covenants, collecting assessments, and managing and maintaining the Association Property. Homeside works for the Association. The Board of Directors makes the decisions and Homeside takes direction from the Board.
What are the current procedures to amend the bylaws?
The Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions for Brookshire (“Declaration”) contains the covenants and rules governing the use of the lots and the Association Property (Association Property includes the amenities and the entry way. Amendment of the Declaration requires approval from 2/3 of the total eligible votes. The Bylaws of Brookshire Homeowners Association (“Bylaws”) is a separate document that contains the rules for managing the Association itself, such as the rules for holding meetings,
voting, electing Board members, officer duties, and other such administrative issues. Amending the Bylaws requires approval by 2/3 of the owners present at a meeting with quorum.
If you have additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org