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Home | Governing Documents

HOA Governing Documents

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Florida Courts: Homeowner Association Authority to Enter Units Has Limits
August 22, 2014
In this week's tip, we discuss two Florida cases that serve as reminders to boards that their access to owners' units is still broad, but it's not unlimited. In Small v. Devon Condo Association, a homeowner who'd recently been diagnosed with a breathing disorder denied her condo association access to conduct pest control services in her unit. She contended her doctor advised against being near chemical pesticides. She notified the condo that she didn't want pest control to be conducted in her unit, and the association stopped spraying from 2005-2009. The owner says she used an alternative form of pest control during that time. . . . keep reading
HOA Boards: Where Does Your Association's Right to Enter Owners' Units End?
August 2014
Two Florida cases are reminders to HOA boards that their access to owners' units is broad, but it's not unlimited. In one case, the board wasn't permitted automatic access to do monthly pest control treatment. In another, which the more recent opinion relied on, the court found a condo association didn't have an automatic right to enter an owner's unit to perform balcony repairs. Here we explain the cases and discuss the limits to your right of entry in various states. . . . keep reading
Easier Enforcement of Your HOA's Rules: Steps to Create Enforceable Rules, Effective Fines, and a Fair Violation Process
HOAleader.com On-Demand Webinar
Easier Enforcement of Your HOA's Rules: Steps to Create Enforceable Rules, Effective Fines, and a Fair Violation Process Enforcing rules doesn't have to be a pitched, tense, and unpleasant battle between your homeowner association board and your homeowners. With some smart planning, you can make enforcing your HOA's rules fairer, quicker, easier, and less stressful. Join us for an in-depth webinar on July 31 led by two community association experts: a lawyer with more than a decade of hands-on experience in advising associations on how to create and enforce rules, along with a veteran association manager with insights on the day-to-day operations of rules enforcement. You'll get practical ideas, systems, and processes you and your condo or HOA board can begin to take advantage of the minute the webinar ends. . . . keep reading
HOA Developer: My Free Speech Rights Trump Your Construction Defect Lawsuit!
July 2014
A California court has held that HOA developers sued for breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and negligence after the HOA's riding and hiking trails washed out can't use the state's anti-SLAPP laws--which protect expressions of free speech--as a defense to wipe out the claims. Here we explain the case and what other boards need to know about anti-SLAPP laws. . . . keep reading
HOA Board Member: Do You Have Any Individual Authority?
July 18, 2014
In this week's tip, we mull over a theoretical--yet very practical--debate in the community association industry. Here's the background. At a recent California community association forum, a friendly professional disagreement arose over a manager's contention that individual board members can't act on anything because individually they have no standing to act. He insists individual board members can act only when they comprise a board, which requires a quorum. A lawyer who represents associations and owners pushed back, arguing that's not reasonable. . . . keep reading
Individual HOA Board Members: Your Authority is Limited
July 2014
At a recent California community association forum, a friendly professional disagreement arose over a manager's contention that individual board members can't act on anything because individually they have no standing to act. He insists individual board members can act only when they comprise a board, which requires a quorum. A lawyer who represents associations and owners pushed back, arguing that's not reasonable. Here we explain the disagreement and weigh both sides. . . . keep reading
Do It for the Kids! How Your HOA Can Avoid Fair Housing Lawsuits
July 4, 2014
In this week's tip, we unpack the lessons of a settlement announced in May by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with a Denver-area apartment complex over its rules governing kids' behavior in the complex. The settlement requires the owners to, among other things, build a $10,000 playground. . . . keep reading
Does Your HOA Have a Kid-Related Rule Like This One? Rethink It.
July 2014
In May, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a settlement with a Denver-area apartment complex over its rules governing kids' behavior in the complex. The settlement requires the owners to, among other things, build a $10,000 playground. . . . keep reading
Who Fixes What in HOA Units After a Disaster?
June 2014
Sadly, your residents are bound to eventually face damage from natural disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, and storms. The question is who pays for repairs to the interior of units? For example, if an earthquake creates cracks in owners' walls, is that considered the responsibility of those owners or the HOA? Here our experts lay out some answers. . . . keep reading
Colorado HOA Residents Have Beefs; You and Your HOA Board Should Listen Up
April 25, 2014
In this week's tip, we explain how complaints by Colorado lessons can be very instructive for your board to keep in mind. There are 8,857 HOAs in Colorado, which includes condos and co-ops, totaling 880,326 units, according to the 2013 Annual Report from the Colorado HOA Information and Resource Center, the Colorado state agency that serves as a resource for residents of community associations. In 2013, it received 1,248 complaints from 327 different complainants via mail, phone, email, its website and in person. . . . keep reading
What You Can Learn from Homeowner Complaints About HOAs in Colorado
April 2014
What You Can Learn from Homeowner Complaints About HOAs in Colorado Problematic communication between HOAs and homeowners was the most common type of complaint reported to the Colorado state agency that serves as a resource for residents of community associations, according to the 2013 Annual Report from the Colorado HOA Information and Resource Center. Many homeowners said they weren't being kept informed about their HOA, and their complaints included not receiving notices of HOA board meetings. . . . keep reading
What's a Majority for HOA Voting Purposes?
April 2014
An HOAleader.com reader writes, "Our articles say: These articles may be amended by owners representing at least 75 percent of the total votes held by the members. We have 134 total votes. We understand this to mean we need 100 votes cast and that a majority of the votes cast determines the outcome of the ballot for or against the amendments. Is this correct? We have consulted two HOA attorneys, and each one answered the question, then came back a day or so later and changed the answer doing a 180 flip. We're extremely confused now. We just wanted them to give us a straight yes or no. The majority of the 75% or not." . . . keep reading
The Twists and Turns of Calculating HOA Fines
April 2014
An HOAleader.com reader asks, "My HOA governing documents state the amount of any fine shall be determined by the board, and shall not exceed one month of the annual assessment for the first offense; in my case, this is $115. So is it legal for my HOA, relying on the Florida Statutes FS 720.305(2), to charge me with $1,000 for a first non-monetary violation?" . . . keep reading
How to Simplify the Tracking of Your HOA's Rentals
April 4, 2014
In this week's tip, we offer groundwork that will help you track and monitor your HOA's rental restrictions. Rental caps are hotly debated but perhaps less common than the debate level suggests. . . . keep reading
Tips for Monitoring and Enforcing Your HOA's Rental Cap
April 2014
If your association has a limit on the number of rental units permitted, you need a process for monitoring who's renting, including possibly a waiting list if you're at already at your max. Here we offer tips for tracking rentals easily and fairly, enforcing it, and for communicating your system to homeowners. . . . keep reading
Fussing with Your HOA Election Can Risk Your Board's Integrity; Discussion Forum Follow Up
March 2014
An HOAleader.com reader asks, "I live in a 600-unit condominium in Dallas. Three of our five board positions are open for election, which is scheduled to close Jan. 30, 2014. A notice to submit nominations was posted in our weekly newsletter; only three people submitted their nomination for the three positions prior to the deadline. The current board is unhappy that we only have three nominees, so the board has cancelled the election eight days prior the election deadline, reopened the nomination for an additional week, and rescheduled the election two weeks later, February 15. Although a majority of owners have already voted, the board has voided the original ballots and has said everyone must vote again." . . . keep reading
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