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Two Associations: How To Combat Confusion?

Two Associations, much confusion. When owners have one piece of property in two Associations, they still have obligations to follow the requirements set forth in the Declaration/Bylaws for each Association. For many owners in this dual-association situation, this means that they either 1) live in a small sub-association of clusters or townhomes and a master association for the general subdivision or 2) there exists a recreational association for management of the pools and/or clubhouse, and a separate association for the maintenance of other common elements. Some larger master associations might contain as many as 20 sub-associations. When the confusion comes to light usually coincides with billing. Some owners might not understand that they have obligations to pay maintenance fees to two separate associations. Or, if they do under-stand, they will inadvertently send the maintenance fees for both associations to one association, and the error will not be found until their account goes into collection with the Association that never got paid.

Ways to Combat Confusion:

1. Educate members at meetings or explain in your handbook that your properties also belong to a master association.

2. For sub-associations, encourage your property manager or whomever handles your closings to note on their closing sheet the contact information for the master, that there are 2 associations.

3. For master associations, compile a list of sub-association contacts, so that when you are contacted for closings, you may pass on the information.

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