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Home | Governing Documents

HOA Governing Documents

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Clearing the Smoke on HOA Tobacco and e-Cigarette Bans
January 17, 2014
In this week's tip, we discuss recent trends in HOAs regarding smoking--even with the newfangled e-cigarettes. One of our experts recently drafted the first smoking ban at one of his associations, including in owners' units. In addition, an HOA in Virginia has banned e-cigarettes. Can and should you ban smoking and e-cigarettes? . . . keep reading
Tobacco and e-Cigarettes: What HOAs Should Know
January 2014
One of our experts recently drafted the first smoking ban at one of his associations--including in owners' units. Here we get the details. In addition, an HOA in Virginia has banned e-cigarettes. Read on to learn what e-cigarettes are and get our experts' opinions on whether boards can and should ban them as they might ban regular tobacco smoking. . . . keep reading
What HOA Boards Need to Know About Xeriscaping
December 2013
Texas has passed a law permitting Texas homeowners to submit a xeriscaping plan to their HOA for approval and limiting the HOA's ability to reject such plans. Here we discuss the Texas law, the basics of xeriscaping, and offer insight on what this may mean for your HOA. . . . keep reading
Follow Up: More on Catching Owners in the Short-Term Rental Act
December 2013
Last month, we exposed the challenge HOAs face in policing owners who violate HOA rules by renting their units out for short-term stints through growing websites like AirBnb and VRBO.com. This month, we get feedback on the issue from an operator of such sites--HomeAway. We also discuss one potential way to shut these owners down: Posting a comment in the review section of a listing informing renters that the owner may be violating HOA rules and that the renter could get caught in a dispute between the owner and the HOA. . . . keep reading
What's Your Duty When Fellow HOA Board Members Violate Governing Documents?
November 2013
Here we offer a reader tips for slowing down an HOA board majority hell-bent on pursuing an agenda, seemingly at the expense of the home owner association's own rules and governing documents. . . . keep reading
Is This Rule Fair? Making Architectural Controls Reasonable
November 2013
An HOAleader.com reader asks whether a small shed, "which you can't see from the street at all" is permissible. Here our experts answer that question and offer tips to boards on determining whether their architectural controls are reasonable. . . . keep reading
To Catch a Scofflaw: Owners Tout Units on Rental Websites
October 2013
An HOAleader.com reader asks, "Our 93-unit condo here in Washington state has a rental cap and a minimum six-month leasing period. We have an owner who advertises on Airbnb with a minimum 30-day lease. How can we 'prove' his non-compliance? Or is his advertisement enough to levy fines for past and present infractions? The owner is off site." With the growth of websites, like Airbnb and VRBO, that allow owners to rent units for short periods, this issue will befuddle more and more HOAs. Here we offer advice for rooting out violations, proving them, and appropriate fining. . . . keep reading
California Court Says Lawyer-at-Meeting Ban OK
October 12, 2013
In this week's tip, we discuss a recent California appellate court ruling raising an issue HOAs nationwide can and do face. In May, a California court held in SB Liberty v. Isla Verde Association that HOA boards aren't required to allow owners' lawyers to speak, or even attend, association meetings. That raises broader questions: Is there ever a need for owners to have their own lawyer attend an HOA meeting? Should you let such a participant speak? Can you ask the lawyer to leave? What happens if the lawyer tries to hijack the meeting? . . . keep reading
California Court Reinforces Law Requiring HOAs to Give Dissidents Equal Time
September 14, 2013
In this week's tip, we discuss a recent California appellate court ruling that offers lessons for HOAs throughout the country. . . . keep reading
California Court Interprets Broadly Law Requiring Equal Access to HOA Board Opponents
September 2013
In June, a California court held in Wittenberg v. Beachwalk Homeowners Association that an HOA election can be invalidated if a board fails to follow the state law requiring that it give its opponents equal access to media, like websites and e-newsletters, and common areas. Here we explain the California case and discuss what associations in other states should take away from it. . . . keep reading
HOA Board Beware: Are You Breaking Antitrust Laws?
June 28, 2013
In this week's tip, we discuss a South Carolina lawsuit, Brandriff v. Dataw Island Club Inc., in which association board members were sued by owners for, among other things, antitrust violations. . . . keep reading
HOA Board Members Sued for Antitrust Violations: Will It Succeed?
June 2013
In a South Carolina case, Brandriff v. Dataw Island Club Inc., association board members were sued in federal court by owners for antitrust violations, among other things. The case was eventually dismissed, but it's been refiled in state court, where it's wending its way through the system. Here, we break down the allegations and explain what's at stake. . . . keep reading
Do You Need Info on Your HOA Owners' Lenders?
June 2013
An HOAleader.com reader asks, "We have a small HOA in Colorado. Our bylaws require that the board keep track of each owner's first lienor (if there is one). What happens if a unit owner refuses to supply that information? Our bylaws don't address non-compliance." . . . keep reading
An HOA by Any Other Name: Would It Smell As Sweet?
June 14, 2013
In this week's tip, we play the name game. There are several situations that should prompt you to at least consider changing your HOA's name. . . . keep reading
What's In a Name? Solving HOA Name Challenges
June 2013
Does it matter what your HOA's name is? Here we discuss the rare case of HOAs changing their name--why they do it, what's involved, and whether it's worth the grief. . . . keep reading
The Possibility of the Lawless HOA
June 8, 2013
In this week's tip, we discuss an Alaska reader's question about whether it's necessary for her HOA to own common property for it to fall within her state's HOA statute. . . . keep reading
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