Frequently Asked Questions
What is a community association, who are the members, and is membership mandatory?
An association helps to protect home values in the community, offers amenities for the enjoyment of owner/members and helps to build a sense of community. Community associations are governed by a set of documents including the Articles of Incorporation, the Bylaws, and the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CCRs). By enforcement of the community standards spelled out in these governing documents the home values in the community are protected and enhanced.
A majority of community associations today require mandatory membership in the association for every owner of a lot within the community.
When your community was built, the association was established with legal governing documents that made your community a deed restricted community; meaning, whoever holds a deed to land in the community must comply with the governing documents. When you purchased your home, your deed to your property obligates you to the association as a member.
What are governing documents, are they received by each member, and what happens if a member fails to comply with them?
Governing documents are recorded legal documents which may include Articles of Incorporation, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions, Bylaws, among others which determine structure of an association and establish obligations and responsibilities of its members and elected officers and directors.
Copies of governing documents should be provided by the closing attorney along with closing documents when a purchase transaction is completed.
If an association member fails to comply with any covenant restriction or rules and regulations, the association Board of Directors is authorized to require remedy or removal. Specific policies and procedures are established by the Board to accomplish violation notification, penalties and legal enforcement.
What is a Board, and what is their purpose?
All Associations are a corporation registered with the Georgia Secretary of State and are run by a volunteer group called the Board of Directors. The number of board members and their duties are outlined in the Association’s Bylaws.
The Board of Directors is elected by the membership (homeowners). The Board makes decisions for the Association and is ultimately responsible for the operations of the community. The Board approves contracts, sets the budget, enforces the documents, oversee committees, etc., as described in the Bylaws.
Who is entitled to vote for board members?
The property owner with legal title to a parcel of property (home/lot) and in good standing with the association is entitled to vote.
What are assessments/association fees, who determines them, and can they increase?
Assessment/association fees are fees that are imposed upon individual owners of lots and/or homes in the association in accordance with the governing documents.
Your community manager and Board of Directors performs a yearend review of the current years expenses and then projects out for the upcoming year a new annual budget. This budget will cover all the expenditures and projected expenses and/or contingency items expected for that year. The amount of individual assessment fees is based on the income needed to cover the cost and expenses projected in the annual budget.
Requirements for approval of an increase in fees are set forth in your association's Declaration. Some Declarations provide that a limited percentage increase may be automatically imposed annually without a vote of the membership.
How do I pay my fees, and who do I contact if I want to arrange a payment plan?
Association fees are billed to you by coupon or statement each year. With ACS, you may pay by check, credit card, or e-Checks. Please visit our website, www.atlantacommunityservices.com; you will need to register and log into your account if you would like to pay online.
Please contact your community manager in writing with your proposed payment plan that you would like for your Board of Directors to consider. Once your request is received, we will review with your association's Board and get you an answer or any questions they may have about your proposed plan. You can send to us via an email to your community manager, fax your new mailing address/contact information to our office at 770-904-5269, or you can mail your new information to us via regular mail.
What records of the association are open to members?
Usually, certain records, contracts, financials, etc., are open to the members for inspection. You would need to provide a written request including a proper purpose/reason for the inspection to the Board. Contact your community manager at Atlanta Community Services, Inc. to receive information about where to send your written request.
Are exterior changes, architectural modifications or property improvements allowed? Who has the authority to approve them?
In order to preserve and hopefully enhance the quality of your community, prior approval of any exterior alteration, change, modification or addition to any individual property is required. Forms and applications for submission of detailed plans and specifications are available at your community website or community manager with ACS to request these forms.
The authority to review and approve modifications is generally delegated to an appointed Architectural Review Committee within your association.
What is a resale certificate/closing package, and do I have to have one to buy or sell property?
A Resale Certificate/closing package is a disclosure package required by Georgia law to be provided by the association upon each transfer of ownership of individual property subject to association membership. Information in this package will include among other items, a summary of assessment account status, copies of association governing documents, certificates of association insurance, financial statements, and a copy of the annual budget.
Georgia law requires either the Buyer or Seller of a property to purchase a resale certificate. Not only is it required, it provides vital information to the buyer, such as association fees, the rules and regulations of the association, if there is any pending litigation against the association, among several other key pieces of information. In addition, if a resale certificate is not ordered, the Association will not receive any record of the ownership transfer which can cause a lot of problems for the buyer at a later time. It can also help to minimize liability on your part, as the seller, because it helps to notify the buyer of the information they need for owning in this Association and also if there is anything outstanding on the property that the buyer may need to be aware of.
What does our management company/ACS do for me?
For our full-service clients, we work with your Board of Directors to help ensure that your association's common areas are maintained, we correspond with you about your home, association fee and compliance with community standards. We offer online access to your account history and other online customer service features. We are available to you to answer questions and hear concerns about your account, statements, violation notices, or any correspondence you receive from ACS or your Board of Directors. Basically, as your management company, we work with your Board of Directors to help assist in the day to day operations of your association, including budgeting and financials, common area maintenance, amenity and vendor management, covenant enforcement, delinquency collections, and meeting with your Board and Annual homeowner meetings.
What is a community manager?
A community manager is a person employed by your management firm and works with your Board of Directors to implement approved policies and procedures and provide effective management and guidance for the day to day operations of your community.
How do I report a name or address change?
We require written documentation of any name change (legal document such as divorce decree, etc) and/or address change. You can send to us via an email to your community manager, fax your new mailing address/contact information to our office at 770-904-5269, or you can mail your new information to us via regular mail.
How do I obtain a pool pass or amenity key for my community’s pool or tennis courts?
Generally, amenity keys, tennis keys, and/or pool passes are provided at closing to the new owner from the seller. If you are not a new homeowner and need a key, contact your community manager for assistance. Please understand all current owners should have a pool pass and any amenity key already. If you do not, some communities charge for replacement keys, so again contact your manager for assistance. Also, prior to requesting a key/pass, check your account balance. Your account has to be current and carry a zero balance for most communities before being given access to the pool and other common areas. Please check your account balance on our website by logging in and make arrangements for payment if your account is not current at this time. If your account has been sent to the attorney for collection, there will be additional fees that may not be reflected on your account ledger at our website. Please expect a delay of up to 7 business days for pool passes to be mailed to you once you make your payment. You will also need to let your community manager know you have paid so he or she will know to send your passes.