How are Homeowners Associations in Georgia Governed in General?
Although Georgia statutes governing homeowners’ associations and condominium associations are similar, it is important to understand which laws apply to your community by reading the Georgia HOA laws page. Georgia associations are governed by a board of directors initially appointed by the declarant (usually the developer) and then elected by homeowners in accordance with the association’s declaration of covenants (“declaration”). O.C.G.A. §44-3-227. The board, in turn, appoints officers to carry out the board’s duties and powers. O.C.G.A. §44-3-231(f). Duties and powers include enforcement of covenants, assessment and collection of member fees, maintenance of commons areas, and acting on behalf of the association in legal matters. An association’s corporate structure is governed by its articles of incorporation, a legal document prepared when the association organizes as a corporation. Eligibility criteria for officers and board-members is usually set forth in the declaration or articles of incorporation.
An association’s declaration is recorded with the county land records of the county in which the association is located and sets forth the association’s rules and covenants, the duties and powers of the board and officers, the manner in which association voting and elections occur, the process for calculating and collecting assessments, and any restrictions on the powers of the board or association. Lot owners and any occupants of homes within the association are legally required to comply with the declaration. O.C.G.A. §44-3-223. In the event of non-compliance, the association, acting through the board, can bring an action against the non-compliant member to recover amounts owed to the association or to compel compliance by court order. O.C.G.A. §44-3-223. Individual lot owners are also authorized to bring compliance actions against other noncompliant owners. Id.
Association members have a right to vote on certain association matters, including election of board-members and adoption or amendment of covenants. Voting occurs at member meetings, which must be held at least once per year, but are otherwise controlled by the association’s declaration and articles of incorporation. For a vote to occur, a quorum (at least 1/3 of possible voters) must be present at the beginning of the meeting. O.C.G.A. §44-3-228. Votes are apportioned as one vote per lot. O.C.G.A. §44-3-224.