Common Interest Communities (CICs) are designed for community living by a developer (also known as a "declarant"). The community is created by a specific set of legal documents, generally drawn up by the developer and subject to change by the membership (owners). When the developer relinquishes control of the community, the community's affairs are then governed by the Association of owners through an elected board.
The Association board is authorized by law to enforce rules and restrictions, and to collect mandatory assessments to pay for maintenance and improvements to common elements (such as a pool, clubhouse, or just a road or signage). The obligation for owners to pay for insurance, maintenance assessments, and upkeep of shared property other than their own units/lots is the essential characteristic of a Common Interest Community. The relationship between owners and the Association is a financial and legal one.
"Association complaint" means a written complaint filed by a member of the association or citizen pursuant to an association complaint procedure. An association complaint shall concern a matter regarding the action, inaction, or decision by the governing board, managing agent, or association inconsistent with applicable laws and regulations.