Frequently Asked Questions

Running a Community Association is tough work. Between collecting assessments, coordinating major capital projects, overseeing small repairs and maintenance issues, paying the bills, monitoring rules and potential violations… it’s enough to drive a Board crazy!

That’s why the Board hires a full-time managing agent to handle the management of the day to day activities of the Association.  At PSI, our job is to make the Board’s role as easy as possible.

While specific duties are outlined in our Management Contract, the Community Association Managers all serve as facilitators, sharing industry insight with the Board, helping the Board to reach informed decisions benefiting the community as a whole.  The Community Association Manager obtains bids and manages Board hired contractors and employees to ensure that all work is done according to specification, on-time, and within budget.  We also handle the day to day contact with residents and take the burden away from the Board.

While Community Association Managers work under the direction of the Board, this does not mean that the Board should feel the need to micro-manage their Community Association Manager.  PSI prides itself in training and educating our staff.  Once the Board gives direction to the Community Association Manager, your management team is fully capable of handling the details and communicating back to the Board any issues that may arise.  Remember, members of the Board are volunteers and should only work as hard as they get paid!

You can reach us in a few different ways as shown below:

  • Call us at (847) 806-6121
  • Email us at
  • By mail to Property Specialists, Inc. 2155 Point Blvd, Suite 210, Elgin, IL 60123

A homeowners association (HOA) is an organization in a subdivision, planned community or condominium that makes and enforces rules, maintains all common areas, and governs the community in accordance with the Governing Documents. Those who purchase property within an HOA’s jurisdiction automatically become members and are required to pay dues, known as HOA fees. Some associations can be very restrictive about what members can or cannot do with their properties. Homeowners associations (HOAs) are formed by communities with single-family homes or multiple-unit buildings, such as condominiums. As the name implies, the HOA is comprised of, and run by, the community’s residents.

Associations are organized for all types of purposes, but there are some recurring benefits they typically provide their homeowners.
  • Increase in home value.
    • By collection the monthly or annual dues and providing the community with Rules and Regulations the Association is able to maintain the common areas.  This is all designed to protect the value of each property.  The primary purpose of the association is to ensure that an individual or group cannot negatively impact the market value of home in your neighborhood.
  • Most communities offer their owner numerous amenities.
    • Associations can offer tennis courts, golf courses, pools, a protective gate and many more amenities.  These amenities are offered to your community and can be a great way to interact with your neighbors.

The Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) are the governing legal documents that set up the guidelines for the operation of the planned community as a non-profit corporation. The CC&Rs were recorded by the County Recorder’s Office of the County in which the property is located and are included in the title to your property. Failure to abide by the CC&Rs may result in a fine to a homeowner by the Association. Depending on your Association, it may be referred to as a Declaration.

​The Bylaws are the guidelines for the operation of the non-profit corporation. The Bylaws define the duties of the various offices of the Board of Directors, the terms of the Directors, the membership’s voting rights, required meetings and notices of meetings, and the principal office of the Association, as well as other specific items that are necessary to run the Association as a business.

The Homeowners’ Association is a corporation, and therefore, a governing body that is required to oversee its business. The Board of Directors is elected by the homeowners, or as otherwise specified in the bylaws. The limitations and restrictions of the powers of the Board of Directors is outlined in the Association governing documents.

The role of the Board of Directors for a Community Association is simple.  The Board is elected on behalf of the homeowners to manage all aspects of the association in keeping with the best interest of its members.

This is done under a macro-management approach, with the Board reviewing the work and overall progress of the Association’s hired Managing Agent.

The community itself is run as a corporation.  Each member of the Board must act in the best interests of the corporation, thus the community as a whole.  The fiduciary duties constitute two components:

  1. ​Avoid conflicts of interest
  2. Act as reasonable, responsible people in managing the association’s affairs.
It is important to understand that the Board of Directors are non-compensated volunteers.  It is NOT their responsibility to micro-manage the day to day operations of the community.  That is the role of the Managing Agent.
​Most associations have developed Rules and Regulations as provided for in the CC&Rs and adopted by the Board of Directors. Rules are established to provide direction to the homeowners for common courtesies with regard to parking, vehicles, pets, and pool use hours, etc. In addition, your Association will adopt Architectural Guidelines with procedures for submitting requests to make exterior changes to your home. Such changes may include patio covers, decks, landscaping, exterior color changes, or extensive interior changes and additions. These rules and guidelines are set up to maintain the aesthetic value and integrity of the community on behalf of all owners, and hopefully protect the market value of your investment as well. Violations of these rules may result in action by the Board of Directors and a fine. In addition, if you proceed with an exterior improvement or change, without written approval of the Board of Directors, or Architectural Committee, as applicable, you will be required to remove or correct the alteration and/or be fined for the violation.
​If residents cannot resolve a situation between themselves, then turn to your Association. Should you have a situation that does not appear to be resolved through neighborly means, and you are willing to actively participate in the enforcement provided by the Policies and Guidelines, you may reach out to your management team or visit your portal at  If the situation is deemed in violation of the Policies and Guidelines, the Board of Directors will institute the enforcement policy. Your continued assistance may be required.

Yes, Board Meetings are open to all homeowners. Notice of the time and place of any regular board meeting will be noted in the community newsletter, through post card notification, or by email.  While all Board Meetings are public, please note that the purpose of the meeting is to conduct the business of the Association.  This is not the place or time for social gatherings. 

Once a Board meeting begins, the only persons able to vote are the members of the Board themselves.  Homeowners can and should voice concerns to the Board during the public comment portion of the meeting, typically scheduled immediately before or after the actual meeting.

The assessment is the periodic amount due from each homeowner to cover the operating expenses of the common area and provide for reserve funds for replacement of common facilities in future years. Unless otherwise stated, your assessments are typically due on the first of the month. Most Associations will choose to issue coupon books at the beginning of the fiscal year.  PSI accepts payments through check, or credit card (credit card payments only accepted through your homeowner portal). You can also sign up for ACH payments to be pulled from your bank account automatically in the month that the assessment is due. Click here for more information.

The assessment is the periodic amount due from each homeowner to cover the operating expenses of the common area and provide for reserve funds for replacement of common facilities in future years. Unless otherwise stated, your assessments are typically due on the first of the month. Most Associations will choose to issue coupon books at the beginning of the fiscal year.  PSI accepts payments through check, cash, or credit card (credit card payments only accepted through your homeowner portal). 
The maintenance and management services incurred by the Association are dependent upon timely receipt of the assessments due from each homeowner. Late payments will result in a late charge. In addition, the CC&Rs allows the Association to charge late charges and interest and proceed with a lien on your property, or forcible eviction proceeding for nonpayment of assessments.  Under Illinois Law, if a homeowner is evicted, the Association has the right to rent out your home on a month to month lease until the debt is settled.  Once your account is made current, you would then be able to reclaim your home from the association.

Boards and Homeowners are able and encouraged to join CAI to stay current.

CAI members have access to practical knowledge and insights from leaders in the field, best practices, research, and tools you can use every day in this rapidly changing industry. We provide information, resources, and education programs to help you keep current on the latest news, laws, and issues affecting community associations, condominiums, and cooperatives, and the homeowners who call them home. – Community Associations Institute

PSI Specializes in the management of homeowner associations. From professional business, governance, and community management services, to leading online services – we offer a complete and unparalleled solution for our clients.

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