HOA Rules and Regs

New to a Homeowners Association? Welcome!

If you are like most new home or condo buyers, you were given a large stack of association documents that you filed away and forgot about. But it is in your best interest to review all of the association documents and familiarize yourself with the contents as you must follow the rules as a member of the association. Most people, as first-time members of an association, don’t have a clue about what the rules and restrictions are or even how a community association functions. Think about your asso [...]

2022 Condo Legislation

There a was one condominium bill enacted into law in the 2022 legislative session. While not intended as legal advice, we are providing a summary from the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs on the House Bill. Act 62, SLH 2022 This legislation amends many parts of existing condominium law, effective January 1,2023. Governance changes require that a petition to amend a bylaw shall be dated in addition to being signed and that the petition to amend the bylaws is only valid if submit [...]

HOA Guidance on Assistance Animals

There is a distinct difference between a dog that is a pet or companion, and a service dog. The Community Association Institute offers this updated information for accomodating service animals in housing, with guides for HOA boards and owners. "Assistance animals play an important role in the lives of people with disabilities. The federal Fair Housing Act (FHA), the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as state and local laws govern assistance animals in community associations. Assistance an [...]

Protect Your Home, Yourself, and Your Property

You may feel some assurance living near neighbors or in a housing development or condominium complex. Your neighbors look out for each other, keeping an eye on one another so you feel “safe.” But make no mistake- you ultimately are responsible for your own safety. While we can often depend on each other for help, we still must take our own measures to protect what is important to us – our families and our property. If your association has a security force, remember they should keep an eye out fo [...]

Understanding Different Types of Condo Insurance and Claims

Insurance claims have been growing. One common issue that arises is who is responsible- the association or the owner- when damage occurs. Whether the association’s master policy, or a unit owner’s HO6 policy will be covering the damage can be answered in the Condominium Association’s Governing Documents, Declarations or Bylaws. These are the documents that define what the association or owner is responsible for. Generally speaking, condominium declarations or bylaws usually take the position tha [...]

5 Most Common HOA Landscaping and Gardening Policies

There is just something rejuvenating about having well-tended foliage around our living spaces. If you’re a Homeowners Association board member or a property manager for an HOA, you probably get questions about plants and other landscaping policies. Residents want to understand what they can and can’t do. Rules vary widely from association to association, and this can confuse homeowners. If they’ve looked into their HOA’s landscaping or garden policies, they may not understand fully how rules ap [...]

The Benefits of a Good HOA Maintenance Plan

The exterior of an association property or neighborhood gives people their first impression. Pleasing, well-maintained grounds and common areas are a sign that a property is probably well taken care of overall. With the increasing popularity of an internet “drive by,” curb appeal has become even more important making people want to “stop” and browse a property’s amenities, and imagine themselves living there. Paying attention to the exterior of a property is one of the most important roles of th [...]

4 Ways to Avoid HOA Conflicts of Interest

As a fiduciary in a community association, each board member is expected to act in the best interests of all residents, and act responsibly in carrying out their duties. This protects both the association and board. However, if they do not fulfill their fiduciary obligations to the association, such as not disclosing a conflict of interest regarding a board action, they will be held accountable for their actions. Fiduciary Protections By adhering to fiduciary duties, HOA board members are protec [...]

Construction in an HOA Unit: Think About a Pre-construction Meeting

Ultimately every unit in an HOA development will be remodeled or have construction work at some point. It is a good idea for both the association and the homeowner to a pre-construction meeting to ensure everyone who will be affected is informed and that the project will move along smoothly. What is a preconstruction meeting? Generally speaking, a pre-construction meeting helps assure a smooth transition from design and proposal to construction. It should be held after an owner has notified thei [...]

2021 HOA Legislation and Policy Review

We often turn to our membership in the Community Association Institute (CAI) in order to stay abreast of legislation and policy trends related to HOAs, both nationally as well as relevant news from the Hawaii Chapter. 2021 was a big year! We are providing this year in review so that our community associations can check in on national activities and trends that can affect HOAs everywhere. Here is CAI's top ten posts from 2021. Happy New Year! CAI Releases Public Policy Recommendations to Improve [...]

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