Amending Documents

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Outdated Governing Documents Invite Lawsuits (NY)

Most co-ops in New York City were converted back in the 1980s, and that’s when their proprietary leases were written. This critical document outlines the relationship between the co-op as a landlord and the shareholder as the tenant, or lessee.

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Declaration Amendment – Sometimes There is No Other Way to Accomplish Something

A unit owner sought to expand their unit by building additional living space on the roof of the association. The declaration, like all declarations, defined the various units and their locations. Unlike many declarations, this one allowed top floor unit

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The Mother of All Amendments

Has your condominium or HOA declaration been amended fifteen times? Are you tired of page after page of references to a declarant or developer that has been out of the picture (or out of business) for years, or even decades?

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Restrictive Covenants: The Impact on Washington Condo Owners

In 2017, the Washington Supreme Court issued a significant decision related to restrictive covenants affecting condominium units. It reaffirmed the importance of timely challenging of an amendment to condominium covenants, in particular for a restrictive covenant imposing a rental cap

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6 Big Reasons Why Your Assn. Should Consider Amending Your Documents (OR, 6 BIG REASONS WHY YOUR BYLAWS ARE PROBABLY TERRIBLE)

(Or, 6 Big Reasons Why Your Bylaws are Probably Terrible)   There are a myriad of reasons why it may be in the best interests of an Association to amend its governing documents, which include the Association’s Articles of Incorporation, Master

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Updating Your Association’s CC&Rs

Asked – Our documents were created in 1981 and have not been updated since that time. I imagine that we are out of legal compliance with some of the items listed within both documents. The HOA membership does not want

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Top Reasons to Amend a Community Association’s Governing Documents

Whether your community’s documents are relatively new or have been recorded for several decades, this article is intended to provide a basis for determining why amendments should be considered. Governing documents generally include the Declaration (or Master Deed for condominiums

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Wait…We Need Lender Approval On Our Amendments?

So you’ve gone through months, if not years, of hard work with board members, committee members, and the owners to finally amend the declaration for your community, and owners have finally approved those amendments. Celebration time, right? Well maybe, or

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A Step-by-Step Approach to Amending and Restating Governing Documents (CA)

It seems as though the laws change as frequently as the tides. Some years see more legal changes than others – changes that greatly affect the way boards manage the association’s affairs. The laws governing community associations have experienced so

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When Should You Update Your HOA Governing Documents?

Many governing documents are established immediately after the community’s developer completes construction. Therefore, these documents follow a standard set of guidelines that are intended to protect the community–even though the houses are still empty. As the neighborhood or condo complex

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How to Get the Vote

Your association’s board has worked for six months to amend and restate the association’s governing documents, including the declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and even the rules and regulations. The board has met with the association’s lawyer on several occasions,

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Understanding Governing Documents Restatements (OR/WA)

The process of amending governing documents is no easy task. Changes to the CC&Rs typically require between 66%-75% of the owners to approve. Bylaw amendments, on the other hand, are a little easier to modify, usually requiring a majority vote

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Is it Time to Revisit Restrictions on Home-Based Businesses in Condominium Associations?

What do Apple Computer, Mary Kay Cosmetics, and the Ford Motor Company all have in common? These corporations all started out as home-based businesses. With recent technological gains, more individuals are not only working from home but, in fact, more

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Need more time for vote? Consider adjournment

Q: Our condominium documents require the approval of two-thirds of all owners to amend the documents. Our association has spent a lot of time and money preparing new documents for approval. Our meeting is fast approaching and almost all of

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Yes You Can Change Your HOA Rules! Here are the 3 Keys to Making It Happen

Did you just fall in love with a Great Dane puppy only to find out your association has a 50 pound weight limit on dogs? Are you expecting a long-term house guest who won’t be able to park overnight on

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The Inevitable: Association Document Revisions

Many Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CCR’s), Declaration of Condominium, or both, commonly referred to as the “association documents” are often composed of boiler plate language related to the state statutes in force at the time the builder or

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Can Clearly Unenforceable Deed Restrictions Create Potential Liability for your Association?

Such deed restrictions are clearly unenforceable as a racial discrimination and have no place in today’s society

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Unsigned Bylaws and Other Docs in an HOA – Are They Valid?

If a Board took the steps to have updated documents prepared, but did not follow through to the end to get them approved, AND recorded, then they are not by law legally effective and are subject to challenge.

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Your Guide to Updating HOA Governing Documents

If you are a member of your community’s HOA management Board or if you are an interested homeowner looking to get more involved, here is your step-by-step guide to changing your community’s governing documents

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Residential Planned Communities and Condominiums: Changing the Rules After the Game has Begun

Properly adopting a valid change or amendment to the terms set out in restrictive covenants can be a tricky proposition,

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Can We Get Rid of All These References to the Declarant?

After members take control of the board of directors of their owners association, they often want to amend their declaration and other governing documents and one of the changes they typically propose is the removal of all references to the declaran

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How Do You Make Changes To Your Association’s Governing Documents?

The good news is that the members of community and condominium associations can make changes to their declarations, covenants, bylaws, rules and regulations

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Washington Supreme Court Issues Bilanko v. Barclay Court Opinion: 4/28/16

In a unanimous decision, the Washington Supreme Court held the unit owner’s challenge untimely and time barred

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Fixing Your HOA’s Governing Documents

HOAs should periodically review their governing documents to identify areas which may warrant an amendment

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4 Tips For Changing HOA Bylaws

It’s always a good idea to routinely go through your governing documents and change what doesn’t work anymore

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The Importance of the “Certification” when Amending HOA Documents (VA)

The Virginia Supreme Court’s opinion highlights how critical it is to not only amend your HOA documents in compliance with the law and your existing documents, but to make sure that the amended document that gets recorded properly

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Clearly defining nuisance activity in your governing documents can help association boards avoid future headaches

A nuisance is generally defined as a person, thing or circumstance which causes inconvenience or annoyance. For some people living in shared ownership communities, there is no escaping a nuisance situation that has risen to a level which impacts the

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Reviewing and Updating Associations’ Governing Documents and Bylaws

For condominium associations and HOAs, effective governing documents are essential for their successful management and financial wellbeing. Association boards should regularly review their governing documents and bylaws to ensure their continued functionality and eliminate provisions that may have become archaic.

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Updating Condominium Bylaws is a Tall Order

Question: I have just been elected to the Board of Directors of our Condominium Association. There are 125 units in the complex, and I have just spent last night reading our Bylaws. They were written in the early 1970s, and

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How to Amend HOA Rules and Bylaws

Communities that have associations usually have set rules and bylaws, which are designed to make the neighborhood the best place to live. Some of those rules, however, may have been passed twenty years ago, or more, and they no longer

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Board considers taking responsibility of shared spaces

Q: I live in a community composed of townhouse villas with shared party walls and roofs. Our governing documents state that the owner is responsible for exterior maintenance, repair, replacement and insurance. The association is considering amending the declaration to

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Issues to Consider When Updating Governing Documents

The governing documents are essential to the successful management and financial health of an association. As a Board grows more familiar with the governing documents, it may find that some of the provisions of the documents are either too vague

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Amendments to Subdivision Indentures; A Tricky Business of How Far Is Too Far (MO)

Quite frequently, the homeowners association (“HOA”) of a subdivision will want to amend, remove or add provisions to the governing documents, generally called an indenture, restrictive covenants or covenants and restrictions. Changes can be relatively minor, from changing the date

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Tying Up Loose Ends in Your Homeowner Association

As homeowner associations age, certain illegal “additions” to the common area tend to creep in like storage sheds, fences, patio roofs, awnings and gardens. These add ons flourish when the board is asleep at the wheel or disinclined to challenge

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Why Grandfather Clauses Can be Useful in Community Associations

Environments change as time goes on and rules and regulations must change with them as a result. While rule changes may be necessary, they aren’t always easy to implement. Community associations and property managers must devise the best practices for

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The Importance for Community Associations to Record Governing Document and Timely File Objections to a Chapter 13 Plan

A recent Bankruptcy Court decision in New Jersey highlights two important issues for community associations:  1) Record your Governing Documents; 2) Timely file an objection to a Chapter 13 Plan if the Association is a creditor and objects to the treatment in

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Courts curb power of HOAs to amend Declarations (NC)

I’ve written before about amending the Declarations for a homeowner association. A new case handed down this month by the North Carolina Court of Appeals could make it harder for an HOA to amend the Declarations to their liking.  

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Drafting Enforceable Restrictive Covenants

“Restrictive Covenants.” Hearing that phrase has made homeowners and their respective Boards of Directors cringe since the beginning of time. Everyone who has ever lived in a Homeowner’s Association is familiar with the idea that there are certain things you

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Voyeurs, Exhibitionists, and Sex Offenders in Community Associations

Does an association have the right to restrict registered sex offenders?  Several communities throughout the country have amended their documents to prohibit violent sex offenders from residing within their planned communities.

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How and When to Update the Rules, Apply Special Fees, and Use Proxies

When it comes to running an HOA, as a board member, there are a lot of “special circumstances” or advanced facets that don’t come around every day. In fact, many board members can go their entire terms without ever running

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10 tips on amending your CC&Rs (CA)

Homeowner associations in the U.S. are governed by CC&Rs (covenants, conditions, and restrictions), which are contracts between the HOA and homeowners. The document outlines policies, rules and procedures covering issues regarding the usage and alteration of property. Here’s how to

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Do you have “less than useful” provisions in your association’s governing documents?

A large part of any association attorney’s day is spent reviewing portions of a community’s governing documents. Many times I’ve settled in for an afternoon of documentary review,with highlighter in hand, only to find myself wondering why so much of

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Governing Documents – When Should They Be Amended?

As general counsel to numerous community associations—both condos and homeowners associations—one of the most frequently asked questions we receive is: When should we amend our governing documents?     Read more……..

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Proposed amendments to covenants and restrictions get nod (SC)

Shannon Zuchowski, administrative assistant at Ravenel Associates, has seen a lot of things happen – both good and bad – when dealing with the various home owners’ associations she manages across the Lowcountry. Recently she witnessed a group of homeowners’

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The critical role of the board in amending governing documents

Evolving community needs and changing legal requirements often present a community association board of directors with a daunting task: amending the association’s governing documents. A well-crafted amendment that complies with applicable law is the obvious objective of any board of

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Some HOAs act as though their bylaws are etched in stone

There’s a mindset that craves the acquisition of any kind of authority and takes full—even excessive—advantage of it. Individuals afflicted with said mindset tend to amplify the significance of insignificant matters and insist, with plenty of bluster, that things be

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Not All HOA Bylaws Are Etched in Stone

Many people who live in housing developments are required to join homeowners associations. A homeowners association is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of any common areas, such as swimming pools, tennis courts and other recreational areas.    Read more….

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Why should your condo, coop or HOA board consider amending the association’s governing documents?

Without fail, every month sees at least several new association clients who arrive with a sheaf of dusty parchment paper that they present to us with a ceremonial flourish and the ominous words: here are our governing documents.   Read More……

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Time to Budget for Deferred Legal Maintenance

Now that accounts receivables are finally starting to shrink, many associations are working hard to stabilize their communities’ finances and planning to take care of long-deferred maintenance projects. During this upcoming budget season, boards and managers will be making important

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To Amend or Not To Amend? That is the Questions

Over the years, the law with respect to community associations has changed and morphed in many ways. If your community’s documents are more than five years old, it may be time to examine your documents and determine if they are

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