104. I’m exhausted trying to figure out what my governing documents are, which one to follow, it’s a mess, can you help me understand?

YOU are not alone!

Many new homeowners discover they must follow their governing documents and they have no idea what they are let alone where to start. YOU can do the research or review the following basic paper trail your HOA Board of Directors should have in their files and provide copies to you upon request.

1.  West Virginia Legislature:


(TIP: not a definitive list though many laws relative to  HOAs in our state are listed within our website at: https://wvohoa.org/library/legislation)

2. West Virginia Secretary of State:

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Supplemental Amendments

3. Your County Recording Offices:

  • the initial and any additional Builder/Developer/Declarant community impact statement
    This document and any additions to it is VERY important, it’s the beginning of the subdivision build-out, it had to start somewhere!  Typically includes explanations concerning storm water, flood plain(s), historic markers, protected land & waterways, endangered species (flora & fauna) and a host of other restrictions & benefits that are not usually included in HOA documentation provided to each homeowner.
  • Original subdivision plat (not just your individual lot)
  • Supplemental Amendment(s) to the original plat
  • Original Declaration of Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions*
  • Supplemental Amendment(s) to the original Declaration
  • Deed transferring the subdivision Common Area to the homeowners
  • Supplemental Amendment(s) to the original subdivision Common Area
  • Your Homeowner Settlement Documents

* When you purchased your home in the HOA you should have been provided the Declaration from either the real estate attorney and/or the HOA itself. TIP: remain pro active – pass the Declaration on to the next purchaser when you sell your home.

4. Your HOA Board of Directors – minimum information:

  • Notice of your Annual Meeting date-time-place with Agenda
  • The annual roster of the Board of Directors with basic contact information
  • Approved Minutes
  • Amendments, policies, resolutions, rules, guidelines, procedures, applications, forms, etc.
  • Proposed and actual budgets which include
    a) Annual Assessment Amount you are required to pay
    b) General Operating Account Line Items (monthly expenses)
    c) Capital Expense Account Line Items (reserve account for maintenance over 10-20-30 plus years)

Remember:  YOU are a member of the HOA and the Board of Directors is in place because you chose from your peers to transparently manage the business of the association for you. Board members are required to step outside their immediate circle of family and neighbors and make decisions based on the greater good of the community.