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Subject: Quorums, changing By-Laws is it impossible?
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(South Carolina)


10/12/2007 2:10 PM  
We had a HOA Meeting this week,one of the homeowners worked for a HOA Management Company, and was there just as an advisor. She happens to be the wife of our president. She was saying it is virtually impossible to get any By-Laws changed. We are trying to change the amount of fines for infractions, such as non payment of dues, not upkeeping their yards, etc. Right now it states for non payment of assessment, the assessment shall bear interest from the date of delinquency at the legal rate for judgements, which she said was $3.36 a month. We live in South Carolina. She said in order to change the ByLaws we had to have a quorum which was like 66% of the homeowners, and that would include homeowners that are not able to vote, due to non payment of dues. Our By-Laws state under **Amendments** "These by-laws may be amended at a regular or special meeting of the members by a vote of a majority of a quorum of members present in person or by proxy." They also state under **Quorum** "The presence at the meeting of members entitled to cast or of proxies ENTITLED TO CAST 1/10 of the votes of each class of membership shall constitute a quorum for any action except as otherwise provided in the Articles of Incorporation, the Declaration, or these By-Laws. If, however, such quorum shall not be present or representated at any meeting, the members entitled to vote shal have the power to adjourn the meeting from time to time, without notice other than announcement at the meeting, until a quorum as aforesaid shall be present or represented. In the CC & R's it refers to a quorum only in reference to voting on something contained in 3 different sections, which refer to maximum annual assessment, Special assessment for Capital Improvements, or Parcel assesments,but it doesn't refer to quorum of for anything else, or the ability to change by-laws or CC&R's. What the board is trying to do is make the repercussions for violating the By-Laws or not payment of dues carry a stiffer penalty. We probably have half of the homeowners that have not paid their HOA dues for at least one year. Any input on this would be helpful.


10/12/2007 3:21 PM  
Peggy, it appears you know more about amending the By-laws than the President's wife. We often amend By-laws; it is not difficult. The President's wife was apparently referring to amending the CC&Rs. That can be difficult but is not virtually impossible.


10/13/2007 4:48 AM  
We also have a presidents wife who likes to get "involved".
Your on the right track, follow the rules for amending the By Laws as stated in the Articles of Incorporation and those By Laws.
Our By Laws state "1/3 of the voting members constiutes a quorum".

Non payment of assessments is handeled here by filing a lien against the property and then taking forclosure action if the lien is not satisfied.

In our juristiction an attorney must file the lien. Our state statute governing HOA's dictates the procedure that must be followed.

Good luck.


10/13/2007 7:15 AM  
What state Jim?


10/14/2007 8:46 AM  

It sounds as if you are right on and the President's wife is blowing smoke. Your doc's dictate how the vote is accomplished and if it is a quorum of the members your doc's state this. The non-performing members would not be considered part of the quorum if you have suspended their voting rights because of non-payment. The quorum has to be of the qualified voting members as your doc's state.

Tell the board members wife to research your doc's before she opens up again. Documents vary from HOA to HOA. Very few are the same, there may be simularities.


11/06/2007 1:35 PM  
By laws can be amended by following your very own by-laws. A methodology should b in the by-laws. They can only be amended at the annual meeting in January but must be presented to the residents for approval.



11/06/2007 4:14 PM  
I disagree about only being able to change by-laws at an annual meeting.

It is easier to do it then as this is typically the only "members" meeting annually, but it is not limited to then or January for that matter.

A duly called meeting with proper notice (and a quorum) is all that is required.

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