HOA Rules and Regs

Saving structures in balance with protecting the environment

Sea levels are rising, with a 3.2-foot increase on Maui shores projected by 2100. The 304-page “Sea Level Rise Vulnerability & Adaptation Report,” released in December 2017 by the state Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands, identified West Maui, Waihee, Hana and Kihei as communities most susceptible to rising ocean waters, resulting in flooding, submerged lands, coastal erosion and new wetlands. Residents in vulnerable areas are already dealing with ocean waves lapping at their doorste [...]

HARPTA Increases to 7.25%

  The State of Hawaii Department of Taxation has announced that the rate will increase from 5% to 7.25% of the sales price for the withholding of tax on the sale of Hawaii properties by non-Hawaii resident persons/entities on or after September 15, 2018.  This withholding is commonly known as “HARPTA”. According to Tom Yamachika, President of the Tax Foundation, HARPTA is not a tax, but rather “a means for the state to collect capital gains taxes from absentee owners.” The increase was an [...]

6 Tips to Go Green

200 years ago there were less than one billion people on earth. If it seems like things have gotten a bit more crowded, it's because there are now over 7 billion of us humans taking up space and using precious resources. Condo and Homeowner Associations can do their part to protect the earth by implementing green practices and making more  eco-friendly choices. Here are six suggestions a "green" HOA or condo association can implement, from our friends at Evercondo: 1. Use Paperless Communicati [...]

Being informed about condo associations

If you are considering purchasing a condominium on Maui for the first time, there are a few things to learn about regarding associations, rules and fees. Here are the top ten questions you should be asking your realtor. 1. Learn about homeowner’s association rules and fees and ask if there are any current assessments in place or planned for the future. Nobody wants to pay an “extra” fee every month for condo ownership. Though amounts can vary widely, association fees are virtually unavoidable [...]

Having a prescription does not mean escaping no smoking rules

With medical marijuana dispensaries rolling out across the state, property managers and condo association are fielding growing complaints about smoking "weed." However, if an association has a no smoking policy, there are protections, even from prescribed medical marijuana. According to the Hawaii Department of Health, the smell of cannabis smoke from a neighbor’s home (including condos) fall under “smoke free” laws, if the property has them in place. Registry staff typically refer complainant [...]

Is Your Condo Property Registered with DCCA?

We wanted to pass along this often overlooked regulation (especially among smaller complexes) from the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Real Estate Division: Condominium owners and board members should be aware that each project or association having more than five units is required to register with the Real Estate Commission by completing the Commission’s registration application and paying mandatory fees, pursuant to §514B-103(a)(b), HRS. The Commission may also require add [...]

Considering an HOA Board Position?

There is a greater sense of involvement when you serve on your homeowners association (HOA) or condo board of directors. Just make sure you are ready for the responsibility.   Here are a few tips in becoming a good HOA board member.   1. Be prepared for meetings Not only should you read and digest information sent out prior to each meeting, you should also be well versed on the governing documents of the organization.Trying to read materials on the fly during a meeting slows down progress. You [...]

Condo and Homeowner Associations Must File GET Returns or Pay the Price

There are different types of nonprofits, including homeowner and condominium associations. However, not all nonprofits are the same when it comes to tax deductions and tax liability. You may have heard the term “501(c)(3) organization” associated with your favorite nonprofit charity. The reference, 501(c)(3), comes from the section of the federal Internal Revenue Code describing such entities. Contributions to 501(c)(3)s are usually deductible on a donor’s income tax return. There are a host o [...]

HB832: Fiduciary Changes for HOA Directors

HB832 became law on July 1, 2017, and condominium associations should be well versed in the ramifications. In summary, the law specifies condominium boards may be in violation of fiduciary duty, and could be held personally liable, for violating the mediation and arbitration requirements of the condominium law (there are some exceptions). It also allows association member participation in board meetings pursuant to rules established, requires board meeting notices to list items on the meeting [...]

Holiday Party Liability Considerations for Associations

December, and sometimes January, is filled with holiday parties. It’s a great time for your community to get together, recognize the hard work of staff and volunteers, and socialize. We’ve culled a few tips from experts on holiday events for homeowners associations, so there is joy and not heartache in your celebration. From traditional holiday parties to those done in association with a winter board meeting, best practices suggest gatherings not be focused on religious beliefs in order to be [...]