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CAI Research Foundation Publishes Best Practices Report on Developer-to-Homeowner Transition

11/19/2003  -  Alexandria, VA

Guidelines and case studies designed to help communities transition from builder to community association control are now available free in a Best Practices report published by the Community Associations Institute's Research Foundation.


The 51-page report, Transition, addresses a wide range of transition issues, including construction, governance, document preparation, communications, maintenance of common property, financial control, budgets, litigation, engineering reports and insurance.

The report was developed by the Foundation in partnership with CAI and the National Association of Home Builders.

The period during which a community passes from total developer/builder control (before any homes are sold) to homeowner control is commonly known as "transition." This can be a matter of months in small developments to several years in large communities.

As more and more homes are sold, management of the community association gradually transfers from the developer to homeowners who are elected by their neighbors to maintain the community and protect property values. As a rule, developers are no longer actively involved in community governance after the last home has been sold.

The report includes four case studies, brief summaries of how different communities handled various aspects of the transition process. It also includes a sample transition agreement and a list of documents that should be turned over to the community as control passes to homeowners.

"The transition process can be fraught with miscommunication and misunderstanding, not to mention acrimony and even costly litigation," said Research Foundation President Ronald L. Perl, Esq. "That's why we developed this report and why some of the most experienced experts in the field contributed to its content. We worked with our partners to develop a resource that can help builders and homeowners avoid some of the common mistakes."

CAI's Research Foundation is the driving force for common interest community research, development and scholarship. It serves as the catalyst for positive change in the community association field by supporting and conducting research and illuminating trends and opportunities in this rapidly expanding segment of the housing market.

An estimated 50 million Americans live in close to 250,000 homeowner and condominium associations, cooperatives and other planned communities.

Transition is the foundation's seventh Best Practices report. The others, also available at no cost on CAI's website, are:

  • Reserve Studies Management
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Resident Involvement and Conflict Resolution
  • Financial Operations
  • Community Harmony/Spirit/Involvement
  • Strategic Planning

The reports can be downloaded at

These reports, and other resources available through Community Associations Press, are consistent with CAI's mission to foster vibrant, responsive, competent community associations.

CAI and its more than 50 state, regional and local chapters represent condominium and homeowner associations, cooperatives and planned communities. Its members include community association volunteer leaders, professional managers and management firms, builders and developers, accountants, attorneys, lenders and other product and service suppliers.

Phone: 703-970-9235