Finding a Contact for a Community Association   Leave a comment

It happens all the time – I pick up the phone or get a random email from someone (generally a real estate agent or a closing department of a law firm) and they need help finding a contact for a community association.

They got my name because, well, I drafted the documents. Or I’m the only community association attorney they know. Or I’m in the county where the subdivision is located and they know I return calls. . .

Regardless of the reason, the first step to finding a contact for a community association is pretty easy. If you live in the subdivision, or have a contact there, ask them if there is a website or a newsletter.

Failing that, there is a little Scooby-Doo work you can do.

In Georgia, all nonprofit corporations are registered with the Secretary of State. The Georgia Secretary of State has a wonderful website that allows you to search for all registered corporations.

Go to the site (the link is below) and start searching. You may need to use variations on the name or search just the shortest unique part of the name you are looking for. For example, you may need to search “Pretty Bird” to find “Pretty Bird Community Association, Inc.” It may be that the association’s name is not quite like the name you expected, such as “Falling Rain Homes Association, Inc.” instead of “Falling Rain Homeowners Association, Inc.”

http://corp.sos.state.ga.us/corp/soskb/csearch.asp

Once you get the right name, click on the link to the detailed information on the association. You will find out a lot of useful information that can help confirm that you found the right legal entity AND who is actively running the association, if anyone. You will discover if the association is current in its registration with the Secretary of State (a good indicator of whether the association is active). You will discover the identity of the registered agent. This is the person (or management company/agent) authorized to take service of official notices on behalf of the association. Generally, if there is a management company in place, they will be listed there.

If there is a management company a quick google of their name, checking the yellow pages, or checking in at http://www.cai-georgia.org will track down a point of contact fast.

If there is not a management company, you will find the names of people – most likely the folks that were on the board at some point. That information is supposed to be current, but in some cases it is not. Regardless, it gives you a good place to start.

Sometimes, the information on the site is too old to be helpful. This often happens where the association has turned over from builder/declarant control to owner control and the owners never updated the registration. Sometimes you can get lucky and contact the builder and get a current contact in the neighborhood.

There are a few more tricks that help with this search, but I’m not giving them away. If I do you won’t call, you won’t write. . .

By Amy H. Bray, a partner in our Commercial Real Estate Department

Do you want to use this blog article?

You may, as long as you include this complete bio with it:

 Amy H. Bray is a Georgia attorney, focusing her practice in community association and real estate law matters. 

 Her firm, Andersen, Tate & Carr, P.C., works with all manner of clients in business and personal matters, providing “big firm” sophistication with suburban law firm attention and service.

Website: www.atclawfirm.com

Blog: www.andersentatecarr.wordpress.com

 Copyright © 2009 & 2010, Amy H. Bray & Andersen, Tate & Carr, P.C.

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