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Home | Governing Documents

HOA Governing Documents

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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
When a Home-Based Business Breaks Bad
March 14, 2014
In this week's tip, we tackle one of the difficult questions HOAs often face: Why is this home-based business acceptable, but that one isn't? . . . keep reading
Operating a Business Out of an HOA Unit: When It Turns Into a Problem
March 2014
You already know it's wise to implement Smart Rules for Home-Based Businesses. But even then, you'll run into gray areas because some businesses are more quiet and less intrusive than others. . . . keep reading
HOA Board to Owners: We've Changed Our Minds. Tough Luck!
February 21, 2014
In this week's tip, we answer a reader's question about whether a board can just reverse a prior decision. In our reader's situation, the board has previously paid to replace owners' leaking sliding glass doors. Now the board is planning to change direction and seek reimbursement from owners. . . . keep reading
When and How Can Your HOA Reverse Course? Discussion Forum Follow Up
February 2014
An HOAleader.com reader asks, "Presently I'm serving as a vice president on a HOA board serving 22 units. This board has been in existence for 30 years with various amendments to specifics of responsibility for repair or replacement of exterior items only. Most recently, our board president made a statement relative to the possibility of rescinding a decision made eight years ago to replace an owner's sliding glass door due to a serious leaking problem." . . . keep reading
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
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