5 Important Steps for Amending Your HOA’s Governing Documents
Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions are legal documents that lay out the responsibilities of an HOA and its members. These rules may be established by a neighborhood, homeowners association, builder, or developer. They may include restrictions on noise, home or garage paint colors, parking, and more.
There are lots of reasons for amending HOA documents. Quite often, the HOA documents are created at the same time the community is constructed. For older communities, this means that some of the provisions may be outdated. Many HOA board members seek to amend the governing documents to:
- Add restrictions
- Remove restrictions
- Include ambiguous provisions
- Make legislative changes
If your HOA board is considering amending HOA governing documents and bylaws, it is essential to keep the following in mind.
Before You Amend Your HOA’s Governing Documents
Before you set the wheels in motion to amend CC&Rs, you should consider whether this needs to be done. It will take an investment of both time and money to achieve this, so make sure it is worth it. Also, be aware that even if you go through the process, the changes may not pass a vote by board members, resulting in a loss of time and money.
You should also make sure that you fully understand the process of changing your HOA’s governing documents. The legalities related to changing your CC&Rs or other HOA governing documents vary between states and localities, so it is essential to research these laws and issues.
It can be a complicated and time-consuming undertaking. Missing a step could cause delays and even mean starting over from the beginning in some cases. Here are five essential steps boards should take to ensure the amending process goes without fault.
1. Contact an Attorney
To fully protect the HOA, you will want to hire an attorney to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
2. Notify Homeowners of Proposed Changes
The easiest way to do this is by mailing out notices to the individual homeowners explaining the need for the changes and what the proposed changes are.
3. Host Community Meetings About the Changes
People will be more open to change if they feel as if their ideas have been considered. Understand beforehand that not everyone will agree and that some people don’t accept change very quickly.
4. Take a Vote on the Proposed Changes
The process for taking a vote will depend on your particular HOA. Some will require an in-person vote, while others may allow for a vote to be taken by mail or online. Some HOA documents may enable you to organize the option to vote with more freedom. These details will be outlined in your governing documents.
5. Sign and Finalize the Records
Once the changes have been approved, amendments will have to be notarized and filed with the clerk of courts or county recorder’s office. Even after they have been approved, amendments are not effective until they are recorded.
AR Management can help boards with property, fiduciary, and decision management. If your HOA is looking for assistance, contact us today.