Being familiar with HOA terminology is essential for board members and homeowners alike. Like any organization, HOAs use a language of their own, and the many acronyms can get confusing. The following are the most commonly used HOA acronyms and what they mean.
HOA (Homeowners’ Association)
HOA is short for homeowners' association. They're established as non-profit organizations to help manage, run, and maintain a community. While HOA is the most common organization name, you may hear others, including property owners' association (POA).
CAM (Community Association Manager)
The community association manager, or CAM for short, is the face of the HOA management company. You may see CAMs around the community, at meetings, or when you pay your HOA fees. They work closely with boards to perform many basic functions and resolve any complaints or issues that come up along the way.
BOD (Board of Directors)
To function correctly, an HOA is required to have a board which is authorized to act on a community's behalf. These boards help create and enforce community guidelines and maintain shared spaces. Boards are made up of volunteers from the community who are elected into the position by other members of the association.
CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions)
Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions, sometimes called the declaration or master deed is a legal document which outlines the rights and responsibilities of the association, board members, and homeowners. It details the ownership rights of the homeowners vs. the association and will spell out architectural standards for the community. The rules contained in your HOA's CC&Rs are binding and permanent.
ARC (Architectural Review Committee)
Architectural control is an important component in maintaining the character and quality of a community. The architectural review committee is a mandatory committee, but its power varies by association. In some communities, the architectural review committee is an advisory body composed of homeowners appointed by the board that makes recommendation to the board of directors. In other communities, the board may appoint homeowners to an architectural board that operates independently of the board of directors, with full and final authority to render decisions and make rules, but with an appeals process to the association board.
Want to learn more HOA terms? Check out our blog post, “5 Essential HOA Terms New Board Members Need to Know.”