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Subject: Where are Bylaws recorded?
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Author Messages
JosephH2
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:49


07/12/2012 11:36 AM  
Anybody know if HOA bylaws are recorded anywhere? Here in PA our declaration is recorded with the County office of deeds. They do not have a copy of our bylaws.

Any suggestions on where else to look or are the Bylaws not "recorded"?
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:4882


07/12/2012 11:53 AM  
Joseph, if incorporated the original Bylaws are ofter recoreded with the Secretary of State or they should be in the files of the registered agent. A good HOA will provide copies to a homeowner upon request.
BamaJ
(Alabama)

Posts:117


07/12/2012 11:56 AM  
Joseph

Here is a link to the Uniform Condominium Act for Pennsylvania...

http://northpointliving.com/uploads/PENNSYLVANIA_UNIFORM_CONDOMINIUM_ACT.pdf

You may find it helpful even though it does not solve your problem of needing to find the recorded documents specific to your community.

You may find the Declaration and Bylaws recorded with the MASTER DEED to the condominium complex from when it was first prepared for development.

You may also check with the City or County Building Dept to see if the documents they possess from when the condo construction was first proposed for city/county approval.

Also ask neighbors if they have a copy to share and/or see if you can contact the original developer or the attorney who worked with the developer on the project.

If the were recorded, the markings should be on those copies...if not, perhaps they were never recorded and need to be by the sitting HOA Board.

Just a few ideas.

Good Luck.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:9112


07/12/2012 12:52 PM  
Bylaws are typically not recorded as they are an internal document to the corporation.
Some States, not all, do require condominiums to record a copy of the Bylaws with the Declaration.

I found nothing within PA Property laws (condo/hoa laws) that require the bylaws to be recorded. Checking PA Corporate laws I also didn't find any requirement for the Bylaws to be filed.

However, your Association is required to maintain a copy of the bylaws and all other governing documents. A simple request to your Association for a copy should work. There may be a fee for the printing of the copy.

Hope this helps,

Tim




JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:4048


07/12/2012 1:39 PM  
Joseph

Generally one gets a copy when they close or prior to closing for review. If for some reason you cannot find a copy, then ask any owner. They should all have one.

If not, then do you know who the original declarant was and/or are there any original owners left? I would start looking for a copy of the Bylaws there.

Our Bylaws are filed as an attachment to our CC&R's at the County Register of Deeds.

Hope this helps.



BillL9
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4


07/12/2012 1:50 PM  
Our Declaration and By Laws were recorded simultaneously with Centre County, PA. Recorder of Deeds by our Builder. And after the turnover, we have gone further to record each and every amendment, afterwards. Every Buyer should request a copy during your due diligence process from Seller or Builder. You can still get a copy from a BOD upon request
DaveD3
(Michigan)

Posts:533


07/12/2012 1:57 PM  
Remember that what is filed and recorded with the Register of Deeds or other authority is THE official document, regardless of what you were given at closing.

The previous owner should be responsible for providing any non-recorded regulations or other pertinent information. Same should be available from the HOA board as well if the previous owner doesn't have it.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:4048


07/12/2012 2:36 PM  
Posted By BillL9 on 07/12/2012 1:50 PM
Our Declaration and By Laws were recorded simultaneously with Centre County, PA. Recorder of Deeds by our Builder. And after the turnover, we have gone further to record each and every amendment, afterwards. Every Buyer should request a copy during your due diligence process from Seller or Builder. You can still get a copy from a BOD upon request





Bill

We are beginning to plan for a turnover to the owners and we are reviewing the CC&R's and Bylaws so we can have the declarant easily make the changes before turnover. I forgot to put to remember to file such on our list. Thanks for the reminder.

John
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:4812


07/12/2012 2:50 PM  
No one is responsible for providing any of the HOA's documents. It is the PURCHASER ONLY that is responsible of being informed. The CC&R's and Incorporation documents are considered PUBLIC and thus means anyone can view or get a copy. As for the by laws they are mostly considered "Internal" documents and most states do NOT require them to be filed. However, many HOA's do tend to put them with their CC&R's. It is the CC&R's that give the HOA the most power and rights.

Your BOD should have a copy and request it from them. Otherwise getting these documents prior to purchase are just a courtesy.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:9112


07/12/2012 2:55 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 07/12/2012 2:50 PM

No one is responsible for providing any of the HOA's documents.




Actually, many States have disclosure requirements that require the seller to provide the documents prior to the purchase. Some States even allow the buyer to back out of the deal with no penalty after x days of receiving said documents.

Therefore, the buyer should make themselves aware of the Disclosure laws within the State they are purchasing their property.
LarryB13
(Arizona)

Posts:2394


07/12/2012 3:14 PM  
Posted By DaveD3 on 07/12/2012 1:57 PM
Remember that what is filed and recorded with the Register of Deeds or other authority is THE official document, regardless of what you were given at closing.



Dave,

I am not so sure about this. If state law does not require recording bylaws then bylaws that were recorded would only serve as a snapshot of what was in effect on that date. The board and/or members could lawfully amend any or all of the bylaws and not record them.

Personally, I think bylaws are a double-edged sword. Recording them provides notice to all but may intimidate later members from changing the "official" recorded bylaws even though it is within their powers to do so.

I believe that some states require filing the bylaws along with the articles of incorporation. This, to me, seems even worse as there is an implication that by amending the bylaws the members are tinkering with a document approved by the state's corporate regulatory agency.

Also, I think some state require that the articles of incorporation state things that other states would interpret as bylaws such as the number of directors, their terms, how and when elections are held. This means that if the association wishes to change the number of directors that it must amend its articles of incorporation. While great for transparency the process may intimidate those who serve on an association's board of directors.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:4048


07/12/2012 3:32 PM  
Question.

If by filing Bylaws (and updates) with CC&R's on the deed, is it not less aggravation in the long run for an association when one says well I did not know so and so and uses that as a defense to disregard, not pay, sue, etc.?

Maybe a pain in the butt to do so, but I see it as openness plus a great butt cover for the association.

Opinions?

Thanks


MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:4812


07/12/2012 4:34 PM  
Here is the issue with By-laws...They are living breathing documents of the HOA. They can change by simply by noting them in the meeting notes or by majority vote of board/general members. The expense involved in filing them with the CC&R's is quite involved too. We did that and had to pay the lawyer and document filing fees. It didn't help much to have them filed together as those who didn't get the original CC&R's through the court house didn't get those either. Most ASSUME the HOA is responsible for giving out the documents. They are not considering you are NOT yet a member of the HOA until you are an owner. Now if the previous owner is required to give a copy differs in each state/situation...

It still comes down to member participation. You are responsible for the effort you take in your HOA. For whatever reason you don't is exactly the reason you don't get what you want...

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:4048


07/12/2012 4:59 PM  
Mel

In our association it takes at least 50% of our owners agreeing to change the Bylaws. They are by no means a moving target in our association.

Our Rules and Regulations can be changed by the BOD alone so they can be a moving target. R&R's we do not have recorded with the deed.


RandyB6
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:29


07/12/2012 5:16 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 07/12/2012 12:52 PM
Bylaws are typically not recorded as they are an internal document to the corporation.
Some States, not all, do require condominiums to record a copy of the Bylaws with the Declaration.

I found nothing within PA Property laws (condo/hoa laws) that require the bylaws to be recorded. Checking PA Corporate laws I also didn't find any requirement for the Bylaws to be filed.

However, your Association is required to maintain a copy of the bylaws and all other governing documents. A simple request to your Association for a copy should work. There may be a fee for the printing of the copy.

Hope this helps,

Tim




http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/68/00.054..HTM - section 5407:
§ 5407. Resales of units.

(a) Information supplied by unit owner.--In the event of a resale of a unit by a unit owner other than a declarant, the unit owner shall furnish to a purchaser before execution of any contract for sale of a unit or otherwise before conveyance a copy of the declaration other than the plats and plans, the bylaws, the rules or regulations of the association and a certificate containing: Laundry list

(b) Information supplied by association.--The association, within ten days after a request by a unit owner, shall furnish a certificate containing the information and copies of documents necessary to enable the unit owner to comply with this section. A unit owner providing a certificate pursuant to subsection (a) is not liable to the purchaser for any erroneous information provided by the association and included in the certificate.

(d) Purchase contract voidable.--The purchase contract is voidable by the purchaser until the certificate has been provided and for five days thereafter or until conveyance, whichever first occurs.

In PA I see it as the UNIT owner/seller's responsibility to request the documents from the association.

I cannot find anything on where or if they have to be on file besides they are required above for re-sale

DaveD3
(Michigan)

Posts:533


07/13/2012 4:12 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 07/12/2012 4:34 PM
Here is the issue with By-laws...They are living breathing documents of the HOA. They can change by simply by noting them in the meeting notes or by majority vote of board/general members. The expense involved in filing them with the CC&R's is quite involved too. We did that and had to pay the lawyer and document filing fees. It didn't help much to have them filed together as those who didn't get the original CC&R's through the court house didn't get those either. Most ASSUME the HOA is responsible for giving out the documents. They are not considering you are NOT yet a member of the HOA until you are an owner. Now if the previous owner is required to give a copy differs in each state/situation...

It still comes down to member participation. You are responsible for the effort you take in your HOA. For whatever reason you don't is exactly the reason you don't get what you want...



Perhaps that varies by state, or even by association. Our bylaws cannot be changed except by a 2/3 vote of the owners and then the documents need to be recorded. Not recording them opens the door to someone "misplacing" things over the years and having past changes inaccessible.

Rules & regulations are a moving target as has been mentioned.
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