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Subject: question on best process for updating documents
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BonnieG1
(Nebraska)

Posts:676


08/20/2013 7:36 PM  
We desperately need to update our documents. This will be a very intense and time consuming project and since we have other priorites we are not seriosly working on updating them at this time.

But my question is have any of you been through this process. I know we will need a lawyer. But I am wondering if we should just rewrite our documents (of cours with member approval) or should we just working on amending a few sections of the documents (sections that need updating) at a time

Also I am thinking that when we do update our documents we should include a phrase to indicate anything in the updated document that becomes outdated after 30 years have passed is not longer to be enforced and that the documents should again be updated.

I am especially interested in hearing from anyone who has already been through this process.

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:8797


08/20/2013 7:59 PM  
We did use a company to assist us but the general process was:

1. Formed a committee to write an initial draft.

They looked at what other associations had, reviewed applicable laws, looked for any existing conflicts and compared it to what we currently had.

2. Draft was reviewed and modified by the Board.

Note: both documents were brought into one by showing the current document and the draft rewrite. This was done paragraph by paragraph.

3. The Board held a special membership meeting for discussion and comment.

The revised draft was sent to the membership with the changes shown.

4. The Board made a proposal which consisted of reviewing the membership remarks and making modifications as needed. They then sent it to the attorney for review and comment

5. The Board made the final draft by making changes based on the legal review and comment

6. A general membership meeting was called to vote on the proposed changes

The Board busted their behinds obtaining proxies from those who would not be attending in order to ensure passage.


The process took approx 2 years.
FredS7
(Arizona)

Posts:529


08/21/2013 4:59 AM  
> anything in the updated document that becomes outdated after 30 years have passed is not longer to be enforced and that the documents should again be updated.

This sounds like very dangerous language. Perhaps OK if you make it much more precise.

But I have a question. Suppose state law makes a particular part of the documents unenforceable. That section would not be enforced. Why is it necessary to rewrite the documents (apart from clarity, that is??).
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:3891


08/21/2013 5:09 AM  
Posted By BonnieG1 on 08/20/2013 7:36 PM
We desperately need to update our documents. This will be a very intense and time consuming project and since we have other priorites we are not seriosly working on updating them at this time.

But my question is have any of you been through this process. I know we will need a lawyer. But I am wondering if we should just rewrite our documents (of cours with member approval) or should we just working on amending a few sections of the documents (sections that need updating) at a time

Also I am thinking that when we do update our documents we should include a phrase to indicate anything in the updated document that becomes outdated after 30 years have passed is not longer to be enforced and that the documents should again be updated.

I am especially interested in hearing from anyone who has already been through this process.






What makes you think they need rewriting? Maybe they need some amendments/clarifications versus an entire rewrite.

Hope this helps.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:4733


08/21/2013 5:27 AM  
We did this and here's some helpful tips.

1. Be prepared to take time. It can be a lengthy process. It took us about 2 almost 3 years to finish. It was just 5 simple changes. They were not hard to understand and were necessary. It was just trying to collect signatures and explaining each time.

2. Let the expert re-write the documents. You all come up with what you want changed and your intent behind the change. However, I would suggest having a lawyer due the actual hardline editing/writing. You all can pick up a few other examples as HOA's documents are PUBLIC documents available at the courthouse. If you know of another HOA, go to the courthouse and pick a copy of their up to give some ideas.

3. Make sure to follow the percentage of votes required to change the documents. It could be 51% to 90% on others. It's best to do ALL three documents at once. The By-laws are in-house documents and typically are not required to be filed. However, it's a good practice to file those with the CC&R's as a courtesy. The CC&R's usually take the highest percentage and go with the DEED. They are the ones to concentrate most on. There is a filing fee with those. The Articles of Incorporation are filed at the STATE level. They don't take a lot of updating but may as well do it all at once if need be.

4. Here is the best advice we got and were able to help us. There is a requirement of having a "special meeting" to change most of your documents. It's not always just the percentage of owners. To get passed this special meeting requirement, your lawyer needs to draft another ballot of signatures agreeing to NOT attend that special meeting. That means that one can give up their right to attend this special meeting to cast their vote now. So there will be 2 signatures required when collecting. One to give up the right to the special meeting and the other for the changes. This way you can go door to door.

5. Verifying owners can be done by checking with the Tax Assessor's office. If you have a lot # of the property, you should be able to gather the name of who owns that property. It has to be the OWNER who signs and not the tenant.

6. It's best to also make sure to remove ALL references to the builder. This includes the 2 vote class system, addresses, references, and one small detail people often glance over. The requirement that one must be a homeowner to be in the HOA. When the developer is in charge he has a staff. That staff may run your HOA. Which means they are not owners. Sometimes this statement is overlooked when updating and later people think than you don't have to be an owner to be in the HOA. This makes no sense and can cause issue. It's best to fine tooth some of these statements when it comes to regard to the developer references.

7. Makes a quick "cheat sheet" of the changes you all want made. A quick break down so people can see the phrases and what the proposed changes will be. It saves a lot of energy and effort instead of bringing around a whole drafted copy.

Finally, once you have completed all of this. The expenses come in. There are filing fees to put these on file. There are the lawyer fees for drafting. It cost us about 2.5 - 3K just for legal costs. The final step is if you are going to provide new copies to everyone. That can be VERY expensive. So may need to decide will you charge for new copies or just suck up that cost? How will you distribute the information afterward will be your final obstacle. Good luck!!!

Former HOA President
BonnieG1
(Nebraska)

Posts:676


08/22/2013 6:57 PM  
Thanks for all the replies. I think we need a rewrite to more or less start fresh and get most referneces to the declarant delented from out document except the for first part of the document. The way our documents are worded now the "declarant" still has first right of refusal and is to have one member on the Board forever. ALso the wording about no business allowed in any unit needs to be reworded. There are mulptiple items in our docs that need updated.

Melissa how can a condominium building have a deed when there is not one owner but multiple owners of the buidling. Doesn't the total of the deeds of each unit comprise the "deed" to the building?

I have checked the accessors site on line and there is not condominium building that has a single deed.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > question on best process for updating documents



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