Volume 3, Issue 1 Changing the covenants and Restrictions
By Robert McConnell Productions
Home Owners Associations
Volume III Issue 1
By Robert McConnell Productions
This section is for everyone who is currently living in a homeowner’s association or thinking of buying a home which might be located in a homeowner’s association or in a development that has covenants but no association. We invite you to e-mail us with ideas that you have found helpful to improve meetings, interpret covenants, or places to go to get help with solving homeowner association problems. We will post those ideas to our page under this section. If you have a problem, e-mail us with your problem and we’ll try to help.
It is the end of summer 2005. Someone just wrote us asking if we have resolved our community problems. I can’t believe that four years have gone by without updating our page. Things still haven’t been resolved in our association. The last newsletter ended with the writer going off to a bylaw committee meeting. This committee was quickly dissolved by the board and they hired an attorney to re-write the covenants and bylaws, and give us some other rules so that the association could enforce the rules about the members keeping up their properties.
The members were very encouraged that this step was taken. We voted to give up to $4,000 to have the documents revised. When the attorney was done, it took him over a year, the new documents were sent out. It was very obvious that he did not write something special for our association or try to just make improvements to our current documents, but that he had some “canned” documents that he used and just had his legal assistant insert our name.
The members were very unhappy with the changes. We had several meetings where we proposed changes to the documents—things that we didn’t want to have in them. One was that our members want to be able to have RV’s or trailers parked inconspicuously on their property. Our current documents don’t address this issue, but the proposed ones did. We had other suggestions, too. But the attorney refused to change them. He came to a meeting and was almost “booed” out of the place. Many tough questions were asked. But the members felt that they did not get the answers they wanted.
After he left the meeting, a motion was made to form a committee to find out what the association members wanted to do with the association itself. Did they want to continue or did they want to disband? This writer was attacked by one of the officers because he thought the writer was out to destroy the association. The writer assured him that was not the case, but was only trying to protect the interest of the entire membership instead of a few members.
The committee met and drew up a good questionnaire. We delivered them by hand and in some cases went back to collect them so that we had a good sampling. Most members wanted the association to continue but did not want the covenants that the attorney drew up.
Right now nothing is happening. Members have lost interest. The board has not had a meeting in months. We have not had an election of officers for over two years. Thank goodness life goes on.
The covenants take 75% of the members to adopt them. They probably won’t pass. So we will have to learn to live with what we have which really won’t be that bad after all.