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9
Posted by1 month ago

HOA CC&R Rewrite

I live in a rowhome, and all of the attached rowhomes are part of a HOA, where I was elected president because the previous president didn't want to do it anymore (and did a terrible job). Water and sewer have a shared main line with separate connections to each unit, but each unit has their own electrical and internet. Everyone owns their own lot outright. The only areas that could be construed as a common area are an easement to take out trash/recycling behind the backyards, and potentially the hell strips.

Our HOA CC&Rs are very restrictive, and were written by the entity that bought and redid all the units (>20 years ago).

From talking, two-thirds of the owners want more freedom to be able to do more with their property, but we're unsure of how exactly to approach this beyond rewriting the CC&Rs.

My instinct is that because of the shared water/sewer, we'd still need the HOA in place to split water/sewer bill and have recourse if someone doesn't want to pay, but are unsure what else we need/want in a looser CC&R, e.g. master policy: right now we have studs-in policy, but it seems like this would be a no-go with less restrictive CC&Rs, e.g. if someone wanted to do an addition, all the owners would in effect be subsidizing them.

I think the next step would be to contact an HOA attorney and ask about this, but just wanted to ask if anyone has had any experience with a CC&R rewrite where they replaced a very restrictive covenants with something looser.

23 comments
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level 1

You have to read your bylaws and CCR's to understand what is needed to redo the CCR's.

If you don't, hiring an attorney to read them at $400/hr is a bit wasteful.

2
level 2
Op · 1 mo. ago

From CC&Rs, supermajority is needed to amend, and 4/6 are in favor of at least some form of rewrite that makes them less restrictive in general, so we appear to have the votes to work towards less restrictive CC&Rs. I'm assuming this would be done using amendment process in CC&Rs.

Granted, we need to talk more about the specifics as a group for sure, but the problem is trying to translate what people want with what to we can/should feasibility do, and the specifics.

2
level 2
Op · 1 mo. ago

So, I guess after thinking a bit: should our next step be working on a rough draft replacement/amendment, which we can all agree on? And only after that is decided, contact an attorney? Or should we be compiling a list of specific things we want to see implemented, but ultimately leave the writing / amendment formulation to an attorney?

1
level 2

Yep - our bylaws state very specifically what the process is for changing anything in the CCRs

1
level 1

Start by contacting a couple of attorneys for pricing. My community is doing a rewrite now. Our attorney is doing it at a flat rate.

1
level 1

Changing the CC&Rs to move some things to the house rules is pretty normal. This lets a majority of the board change things instead of a homeowner vote in the future. With 6 units though it might not make much of a difference

1
level 1

I think you will probably want to work amendments and changes in stages. The first thing I would probably try to get amended is the ability to have some sort of voting mechanism so you can have a mail in vote. Also remember anything that you change to allow a lower the quorum/approval lower means a later board version can turn into nazis all that much easier.

1
level 1
· 1 mo. ago
💼 CAM

Yes, the Board should meet with an attorney.

1
level 2
Op · 1 mo. ago

What should be the order of events? Should we come to an agreement going through our current agreement section-by-section first, the present what we want to attorney? Or something else?

1
level 1

Just because you may have had an informal conversation doesn’t mean when it comes to the final vote you will have what it needs. These things don’t happen over night and you could be spending a whole lot of money for something to fail at the last minute. Also you could be making changes that could have yet unforeseen repercussions.

0
level 2
Op · 1 mo. ago

Yeah, that's kind of why we wanted to contact an attorney: the unforseen consequences.

We were thinking that an attorney would have some boilerplate agreements for a HOA with fewer restrictions, to which we could include things from our current HOA that we wanted to keep (water sharing, easement for taking out trash).

I guess we're going to have to go through everything on a section-by-section basis first, see what we can agree on keeping/scrapping, then contact an attorney for the reasons you listed, basically the opposite order of what I thought would be standard.

1

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Created Jan 9, 2013