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Subject: can we require to owners to attend orientation.
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BonnieG1
(Nebraska)

Posts:1132


03/28/2012 3:49 PM  
In the past we have required new owners to attend an orientation and sign papers that they understand the rules.

A unit has just sold to a rental agent that refuses to come to orientation because he says he understands condominiums.

After a quick review of our documents I can't find anything that gives us authority to require a new owner to attend an orientation. There might be something there if I looed closer, but I doubt it.

The only document I haven't reviewed is our guideline booklet, but I don't think that is a legal document.

We are a 43 condominium in NE.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15823


03/28/2012 4:02 PM  
Bonnie,

Just as you can't force a member to attend the annual meeting or exercise their right to vote, you can't force them to attend a training class.

Personally, I would never sign papers or ask others to sign papers that specify they understand the rules. There could be cultural or language differences that may have them think they understand but really don't. There is also the issue of how the class is conducted and the method of instruction. I agree that offering a class is a great idea. However, requiring members signatures on a document that might be used against them in a court of law can lead to a whole bunch of issues. Are the instructors certified to be an instructor? How does the Association certify that the instructor understands the rules? Who certifies the instructors and how is their certification maintained? I think you see my point.

Instead, the Board should offer classes but not force participation. Perhaps making it a social event.
The Board should also document that copies of the governing documents, rules and guidelines were provided to every member and make them easily available.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7594


03/28/2012 4:50 PM  
Bonnie

Tim called it.

Plus you are far, far, far off base requiring me to do anything.

You are not the law.

You are setting the wrong tone from the get go.

Sorry if this sounds harsh, but so be it.

JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4108


03/28/2012 7:36 PM  
Hi Bonnie:

I also agree that Tim is on the right track. You potentially cannot force certain issues unless dictated as required by Law. I have not reviewed your state statutes on this issue, but many states require certain disclosures prior to purchasing and in an HOA in many instances requires copy of governing documents. It is then up to the individual to review and agree to the documents when they sign a contract to purchase.

Sorry … I would also same as the agent not sign any such item and would instead ask the HOA to provide me with the State Law dictating that I have to perform the action especially AFTER the purchase of a unit and already following all laws governing the sale.

IMO ... No you cannot REQUIRE owners to attend orientation. You can offer and in many instances might be taken up on your offer, but could not force.
PeterD3
(Florida)

Posts:708


03/29/2012 4:12 AM  
Such a 'request' is just that.

Isn't that information conveyed at closing?
BonnieG1
(Nebraska)

Posts:1132


03/29/2012 6:12 AM  
Posted By PeterD3 on 03/29/2012 4:12 AM
Such a 'request' is just that.

Isn't that information conveyed at closing?




I never got this information. Probably because a lawyer who was the estate representative sold the unit to me. I had no idea we had governing documents and what was actually involved in condominium ownership. I just knew that I would own the apartment. If I had know what was involved I may not have moved here.

I got my information in bits and pieces by talking to other owners. I am thinking a nice welcome letter for new residents and owners as was mentioned on this forum before.
PeterD3
(Florida)

Posts:708


03/29/2012 6:21 AM  
Do you have dues/assessments/etc.?

(If so) surely they must have mentioned that at closing.
GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5491


03/29/2012 8:43 AM  
Bonnie, when I moved into my condo, I was given a handbook welcoming me to the condo and laying out the major points of the CC&R's in plain English in short paragraphs that were easy to understand. It explained things like the pet policy, when the dumpsters were emptied, how to dispose of items too big for the dumpster, what insurance was required, how to contact the Board, what repairs the Association was responsible for and what were my responsibilities, etc. Oh, and a big disclaimer on the first page NOT in mice type either:

This Handbook was prepared and approved by the Happy Daze Board of Trustees as a quick source of general information about the Association and its Unit Owners regarding (but not limited to) the policies and procedures of Happy Daze, and is intended to assist in understanding and dealing with day-to-day situations, which arise out of the ownership of a condominium. This document IS NOT a substitute for the Declarations and By-Laws which should be read and understood by every unit owner. In the event of a conflict between this handbook and the Declaration, the Declaration/By-Laws are the controlling documents. Questions about the Association and its activities should be directed to any Board Member or to the Association’s Property Manager. While every effort has been made to assure accuracy, errors do occur.

Studies show that 5 out of 4 people have problems with fractions
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7477


03/29/2012 11:03 AM  
CC&R's, by-laws, and Incorporation documents are considered PUBLIC DOCUMENTS. They are the buyer's responsibility ONLY to be informed of them. The HOA isn't responsible as potential buyers are NOT HOA members. That means they have no right to the HOA's financial information as non-members and other HOA related information. Lawyers may disclose it depending on the type of loan you get. However, most closings go so fast that people may not hear it or understand what they are signing since it is closing day and all. A mortgage company should mention it because the dues are part of figuring out if you can afford the home. However, again that depends on what type of loan you may be getting. They are concerned about the dues/money than the rules. A Realtors could be helpful but not required to disclose the HOA. This is why I get a "Buyer's Agent" instead of a typcial Realtor as they help the potential buyer find this stuff out prior to sale but NOT required to know the rules either. The seller can certainly as a "courtesy" provide the documents to the potential buyer. However, most sellers either bring them to the closing or don't have them at all. They also may fear messing up the deal if the buyer doesn't like HOA's and backs out of the deal. Which leave ONLY YOU to inform yourself of the rules of the HOA.

It is one of those areas more education needs put out about. I certainly didn't know to go to the court house to get a copy of the rules. It's NOT common knowledge for sure. Once you do know it, the future will lead you to be more informed. That again is your responsibility not the HOA's, Realtor, mortgage company, title company, lawyer, or seller...It's just a nice courtesy if along those line one of them would give the information out where to find it...

Former HOA President
JohnB26


Posts:0


03/29/2012 11:51 AM  
you may not require anything which the CC&Rs does not dictate

CAVEAT EMPTOR
BruceF1
(Connecticut)

Posts:2535


03/30/2012 5:24 AM  
Posted By BonnieG1 on 03/28/2012 3:49 PM
In the past we have required new owners to attend an orientation and sign papers that they understand the rules.

And what if they don't wish to comply? By what authority can your association force new owners to attend an orientation or to sign papers? (I believe the term for that is extortion, which would render any signed papers null and void anyway).

Some states (not all) require the seller (or the seller's agent) to inform a prospective buyer that the property is part of a condominium, or HOA, and to provide the prospective buyer with a copy of all the documents when the prospective buyer places a deposit on the property. The prospective buyer is then given a period of time (usually 30 days) to read the documents (or take them to a lawyer to have them interpreted) during which time the prospective buyer can back out of the deal and get his/her deposit back. However, nothing compels the prospective buyer to read the documents or to have them interpreted. After the 30 days the prospective buyer can lose the deposit just as with any normal real estate deal.

Connecticut is one of those states.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15823


03/31/2012 5:31 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 03/29/2012 11:03 AM

I certainly didn't know to go to the court house to get a copy of the rules. It's NOT common knowledge for sure. . . . That again is your responsibility not the HOA's, Realtor, mortgage company, title company, lawyer, or seller...It's just a nice courtesy if along those line one of them would give the information out where to find it...




Fortunately many States now make it the responsibility of the Seller and/or the Sellers agent to provide this information. Some States even require copies of budgets, x months of minutes and more so the potential buyer has the materials to make an informed decision. Some States even allow the buyer to back out of the deal after x days of receiving this information if they find something they don't like.
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