Residential Estate Industry Journal 4 - Page 47

STEYN CITY PARKLAND RESIDENCE PEZULA PRIVATE ESTATE not contained in the HOA’s documents. HOA actions are usually upheld in court if the authority is provided in the documents or by statute and the board acts reasonably in carrying out the authority. If I buy property in an area governed by a Homeowners’ Association, how will I know the rules? The MOI and rules are recorded documents and potential buyers should obtain a current copy and read them before buying. These articles permit the HOA to make rules and regulations governing the conduct of the members and the use of the common property. The HOA should have copies of all current documents What are some of the common problems faced by directors? Rule creation and enforcement are an area of concern. Owners will need (and deserve) adequate notice of any alleged rule violation, including an opportunity to be heard, before any penalties are imposed. When owners fail to pay levies, the board often struggles to find the best way to get payment. When conducting meetings, it is recommended that the board use a guide like Robert’s Rules of Order. This will allow the orderly participation of HOA members and assist the board to reach decisions on important issues. available for review. Often a copy can be obtained It is not uncommon for volunteer board members to from the estate agent who sold the home. have little experience in running an HOA. For this reason, Homeowners who disagree with a rule should address concerns to the board. Rules can be amended or revoked if they are unreasonable, unnecessary or simply unwanted by most owners. The amendment or revocation will require a member vote at an AGM or a properly constituted special general meeting. Voting requirements are usually found in the documents. If owners disagree with a rule and are unsuccessful in getting it amended or revoked after following the proper procedures within it is important that all directors become familiar with the governing documents. While the documents often outline the steps necessary for proper action, some situations may require guidance from experts with greater experience. Most HOAs employ a management team to assist with administrative duties. Experienced attorneys also provide much-needed assistance in interpreting and amending documents, levy collection, internal dispute resolution and other complex issues. the HOA, the owners can always bring a legal action Finally, and perhaps most importantly, harmony can to declare the rule unenforceable. However, this could be sustained by encouraging open communication and become very expensive. cooperation between owners and the board. PAGE 45 SERENGETI GOLF AND WILDLIFE ESTATE