Amending Documents

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

To the question of whether a Board should use, enforce, or sign unsigned documents or any certification approving them, I would respond that while it is certainly not a first choice, it may be preferable to tossing out the documents

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Your Guide to Updating HOA Governing Documents

Changing your community’s governing documents is a hot topic with many homeowners associations right now since lots of governing documents were established when the community was built and are therefore out of touch with today’s needs. Luckily, governing documents are

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

As Americans, it is in our nature to always look for ways to improve anything and everything affecting our lives, including the cars we buy, the food we eat, and yes, even the organizations to which we belong. It’s no

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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

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

Community and condominium associations are implemented by the developer of the community or condominium. For some associations, this can mean that they are governed by documents that may be quite old, outdated or not the right fit.     Read the

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

Bilanko is the most recent addition to the ongoing saga in Washington law and the enforceability of condominium declaration amendments under the WCA (RCW 64.34). Bilanko involved a homeowner challenge to the enforceability of a declaration amendment that restricted unit

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Fixing Your HOA’s Governing Documents

Governing documents are often overlooked until an issue spotlights deficiencies. When this occurs, it’s often too late to amend the governing documents to correct the deficiency. HOAs should periodically review their governing documents to identify areas which may warrant an

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4 Tips For Changing HOA Bylaws

The HOA’s bylaws are important for keeping the neighborhood pleasant. All homeowners agree to follow these bylaws when they purchase a home in the neighborhood. However, sometimes, these bylaws need to be changed. It’s always a good idea to routinely

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

The Virginia Supreme Court’s opinion in Tvardek, et al v. Powhatan Village Homeowners Association, Inc. 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

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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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Colorado Springs HOA Has Unique Opportunity to Build Consensus and Community

Yesterday, the Denver Post ran a story entitled Rebuilding to test covenants after Colorado Springs wildfire. The story focuses on the Mountain Shadows Community Association which was devastated by the Waldo Canyon fire. The Post reports that 346 homes were

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