What Mistakes Should I Avoid When Drafting or Amending Condo or HOA Documents?

man signing document

Condo or HOA documents are the legal cornerstone of any community association. They delineate the rights and obligations of the owners, the board, and the association. They also establish the rules and regulations that govern the community. However, drafting or amending condominium and homeowners association documents is not an easy task, as it necessitates meticulous planning, research, and consultation with experts. It also calls for compliance with federal, state, and local laws, as well as the existing governing documents of the association. Regrettably, many condo or homeowners association boards make mistakes when drafting or amending their documents. These errors can have grave repercussions for the community, such as lawsuits, disputes, confusion, and discontentment among owners. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned Orlando condo & HOA lawyer to learn more about some of the most important mistakes to avoid when drafting or amending condo or HOA documents.

Mistakes to Avoid When Drafting or Amending Condo or HOA Documents

Here are some of the most common mistakes when drafting or amending condominium and homeowners association documents and how to avoid them:

  • Not following the proper procedure: Each association has its own procedure for drafting or amending its documents. This procedure is usually outlined in the articles of incorporation, bylaws, or declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). The procedure may include steps such as obtaining approval from a certain percentage of owners, holding a meeting or a vote, filing the documents with the state or county, and notifying all owners of the changes. Failing to follow the proper procedure can invalidate the documents or expose the board to legal challenges.
  • Not consulting with an attorney: Drafting or amending condominium and homeowners association documents is a complex legal matter that requires professional guidance. An attorney who specializes in community association law can help the board draft clear, consistent, and enforceable documents that comply with all applicable laws and regulations. An attorney can also review the existing documents and identify any gaps, conflicts, or outdated provisions that need to be updated. Trying to draft or amend documents without an attorney can result in errors, omissions, ambiguities, or violations that can cause problems for the association.
  • Not considering the needs and preferences of the owners: Condominium and homeowners associations should reflect the needs and preferences of the owners who live in the community. The board should solicit input from the owners before drafting or amending any documents. The board should also communicate with the owners throughout the process and explain the reasons and benefits of any proposed changes. Ignoring or alienating the owners can lead to opposition or non-compliance with the documents.
  • Not updating the documents regularly: Condominium and homeowners association documents should not be static. They should be updated periodically to keep pace with changes in laws, regulations, technology, demographics, market conditions, and best practices. The board should review the documents at least once a year and make any necessary adjustments. The board should also monitor any changes in federal, state, or local laws that may affect the community and amend the documents accordingly. Not updating the documents regularly can result in outdated, inconsistent, or illegal provisions that can harm the association.

If you have any additional questions or you’re looking to draft or amend a condo/HOA document, please don’t hesitate to contact Ansbacher Law today. We are here to help you through each step of the process ahead.