HOA Governing Documents

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Keeping HOA Meetings in Order: To Use Robert's or Not?
May 2015
Do you follow Robert's Rules of Order during meetings? If so, why? Few states or governing documents require HOAs to use Robert's Rules, but some HOAs voluntarily adopt the long-established guidelines. Yet many experts aren't fans at all. keep reading

Another Emerging HOA Issue: Tiny Homes
May 2015
A homeowner association expert recently revealed to us a new issue arising at some of the community associations she represents: Tiny homes. They're often on a trailer so they can easily be moved, so homeowners are moving them onto their property. And that's creating challenges for HOAs in all kinds of areas, including when it comes to architectural rules. Here we explain and offer advice. keep reading

Here's a New One on Us: An HOA Rejuvenation Period
April 2015
An HOAleader.com reader asks, "HELP! We are past our rejuvenation period. What will happen to the association?" Unfortunately, we don't have much insight for our reader. Our experts--every single one of them, despite their decades of experience in advising associations from the management and legal side--have never encountered a "rejuvenation period" that applies to community associations. keep reading

When There's a Good Reason to Not Enforce Your HOA's Rules
April 24, 2015
Put yourself in this real-life board's shoes. An owner's young daughter has cancer. The Make-A-Wish Foundation offers to build a playhouse in her backyard. But you believe the playhouse doesn't comply with your HOA's architectural guidelines. Enforce your rules, or have a heart? An HOA in Missouri did both, first enforcing its rules and then changing its decision. keep reading

HOA In No-Win Situation: Should It Have Stood Its Ground?
April 2015
An HOA in Missouri has reversed its decision denying homeowners' request to allow the Make-a-Wish Foundation build a playhouse in their backyard for their daughter, who's battling cancer. Here's the rub: The HOA was probably right in the first place that the proposed playhouse violated the CC&Rs. So was this a time when rules should be waived? keep reading

7 Types of Stale, Out-of-Date HOA Rules You Should Freshen Up Now
April 3, 2015
In this week's tip, we give you a jump start on improving your rules. It's a good idea to freshen them up every once in a while, and our experts say there are seven types you should review and consider overhauling today. Here are the first two: keep reading

Is It Time to Rethink These 7 Types of HOA Rules?
April 2015
Fighting too much with owners over your HOA's rules? Maybe the rules are out of date and or just don't fit with emerging trends and owners' wishes because your community has changed. Here our experts offer their wisest counsel on seven types of rules they suggest you review and consider overhauling. keep reading

Can You Ask Your Developer to Beef Up Funding Pre-Transition?
March 2015
An HOAleader.com reader asks, "Our HOA is still under developer's control using 'deficit funding' as a way to help support our HOA. We are presently about 70% complete and expect to [do] a 'take-over transfer' within the next 12 to 18 months. Since 2012, construction has increased the community by about 80 new homes. All those recent sales have produced a fund referred to as 'capital contribution' that's collected at closing. keep reading

This HOA Board May Not Be Asking the Right Questions About a Rule Change
March 6, 2015
In this week's tip, we offer an HOAleader.com reader guidance on whether changing governing documents and grandfathering some owners' situations creates different "classes" of owners. Our experts say that may not be the most pressing question for our reader. keep reading

Potential HOA Rule Change on RVs May be Harder Than Reader Realizes
March 2015
An HOAleader.com reader asks, "Our CCRs have allowed RVs to be parked in driveways or side yards since 2002. Prior to that, they were silent on the issue. We're seeing more and larger RVs as well as boats, jet skis, etc., and the woodsy, natural look of the neighborhood is being compromised. "We'd like to ban all new RVs in the neighborhood or allow parking only on side yards. It's our understanding we can grandfather the existing vehicles, but not the existing owners. That is, an existing owner could keep their current RV parked on the driveway, but if they wanted to buy a new RV, they would have to park it on the side yard or off site. "The problem is many lots don't have adequate side yards, so they would have to park their replacement RV offsite. Can we grandfather an owner's right to park any RV until they move or would that introduce a separate class of members? Can someone please explain member classes?" Here we address the challenges raised by the reader's potential changes. keep reading

Tips for Tabling: When It's OK to Use This HOA Meeting Procedure
February 13, 2015
In this week's tip, we explain the time-honored tradition of "tabling" an item during a meeting. Is that a real tactic or something made up over the years? Actually, it's real. Tabling an issue is a long-standing practice recognized for organizational meetings. "Tabling is a real and valid parliamentary procedure," says Bob Kmiecik, a partner at Kaman & Cusimano LLC, which represents associations throughout Ohio. "Usually when it's done, it really means to set aside an issue for consideration at a later time, usually because you need more information." keep reading

How to "Table" an Issue Without Triggering an Approval by Inactivity
February 2015
An HOAleader.com reader writes, "So here's the scenario. (It's a new HOA in Washington state.) A request is brought before the [architectural review committee] for a variance. Concerns over bylaws and authority arise. The committee tables the request until the board can meet (three days) to discuss the concern. keep reading

Are You Asking Your HOA Manager to Do Too Much?
February 6, 2015
An HOAleader.com reader has asked what exactly a board can expect from its manager. In this week's tip, we begin answering that question by discussing the two types of HOA managers. "The reader's answer depends on the type of management associations are looking for," says Duane McPherson, president of corporate development for CiraConnect, which provides management companies, developers, and large-scale self-managed associations with a cloud based software solution and back-office shared service. keep reading

Four Things to Expect from Your HOA Manager--and What Not to Expect
February 2015
An HOAleader.com reader asks, "As an HOA president, I'm searching for information and ideas for how much management an HOA should expect from its management company. In industry, a manager is expected to run the operation as profitably and efficiently as possible within the guidelines established by the company or board. Is it reasonable to expect an HOA manager to function this way? Should we expect the manager to be proactive in the operation of the community and help the board by suggesting better ways to operate? Should the management share with the board improvements and operational experiences they have had with other communities?" keep reading

Retroactive HOA Changes: Can You Penalize Owners Who've Followed the Rules?
January 30, 2015
In this week's tip, we discuss whether you can implement change at your HOA retroactively. This is a new issue for many of our experts. "I've never seen a condo statute that specifically stated that you couldn't act retroactively," muses Robert Galvin, a partner at Davis, Malm & D'Agostine PC in Boston who specializes in representing condos and co-ops. "But if you did, I don't think you could enforce a bylaw or rule." keep reading

Can You Implement a Change to Your HOA Governing Documents Retroactively?
January 2015
Legislatures can on occasion enact laws and make them retroactive. But can you do that at your HOA? Here we find out. keep reading

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