HOA legislation updates -March 2017 (MD, UT, CA )

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

Maryland

More powers for condo boards?

SB 529 would grant additional power to condominium boards (councils) to amend Bylaws to allow common element restrictions for owners delinquent in payment of assessments. The Bylaw amendments would be voted on by a majority of board members, without any input from unit owners.

Common elements can include amenities such as the pool or fitness room, but also shared laundry facilities and parking areas. In other words, this bill would give condo boards more ways to punish owners for non-payment of assessments, some of which could be unusually harsh or  inappropriate.

Read and track SB 529:

https://legiscan.com/MD/bill/SB529/2017

Current Status:

SB 529 was voted down by the Senate Judiciary Committee

http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2017RS/votes_comm/sb0529_jpr.pdf

 

Utah

More rights for developers, more obstacles for Association-Governed Communities

HB 157 would create barriers to prevent homeowners in associations from engaging in litigation with developers over matters such as construction defects. Before the board of the association can initiate litigation, the new legislation would require a vote of 51% of all unit owners OR 75% of unit owners present in person or by proxy at a special meeting (quorum for the meeting is 51% of all unit owners). The developer must be given an opportunity to resolve the issues prior to the association’s vote. The bill does not exclude voting interests for units held by the developer or affiliates of the developer.

HB 157 would also require Declarant (developer) controlled boards to hold at least one open meeting per year, or whenever the board plans to vote on an assessment increase.

Read and track HB 157

http://le.utah.gov/~2017/bills/static/HB0157.html

Current Status: Enrolled

UPDATE: signed by Governor on March 23, 2017

 

Removal of more barriers to use of solar panels in HOAs

SB 154 removes some additional restrictions that HOAs typically impose with regard to installation of solar panels or solar energy systems. An association’s restrictions cannot have the effect of reducing energy savings by more than 5%, or increasing installation costs by more than 5%. However, HOAs with explicit CC&R prohibitions on solar energy systems are grandfathered in, and any HOA can amend their CC&Rs to either prohibit or allow installation of solar energy equipment on private property.

See previous blog for details

Read and track SB 154

http://le.utah.gov/~2017/bills/static/SB0154.html

Current Status: Enrolled

 

 

California

Disclosure of Management company conflicts of interest and referral fees

Now here is a bill that would increase transparency with regard to management fees. AB-690 would require community managers to disclose affiliated relationships with vendors and any monetary compensation to the manager or management company from service suppliers.

Read and track AB-690

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB690

Current status: in committee

 

Procedures for declaring an election uncontested

AB-1426 would allow an Association to declare an election of directors uncontested – eliminating the need to conduct a formal election –  if the number of candidates does not exceed the number open positions on the board. A similar bill was introduced last year and opposed by homeowner advocates. The current draft provides additional measures to ensure that an election is truly uncontested, and that no eligible member is denied the opportunity to run for election to the board or directors.

Specifically, the association must hold an open meeting prior to the election, for the purposes of the inspector of election to announce an uncontested election. Following the meeting, members may add their names to the ballot within 15 days, thereby requiring a formal election be held in accordance with California statutory requirements.

Those additional requirements could have the effect of encouraging more members to volunteer for service on their association boards.

Read and track AB-1426

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB1426

Current status: in committee

 

 

 

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