HOA Rules and Regs

6 Tips for New Condo Owners

Congratulations on becoming a condo owner! You will find there are some differences between renting or owning a house. You may have even rented in a condo or apartment before, but as an owner, there are some rights, restrictions and courtesies to be aware of. 1. Neighbors Chances are you have had neighbors before, but now you are in a place where you may have the same neighbors for a very long time. A good rule of thumb is to be the kind of neighbor you would like to have, including being reas [...]

2018 Legislative Session Update

The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Real Estate Division provided a summary of the 2018 legislative session condominium bills that were enacted into law. Please consult with legal professionals regarding these new laws. The following descriptions are meant to provide only general information. House Bills: Act 195, SLH 2018 modified the foreclosure process for associations where there is an agreed upon payment plan. Act 195 also prohibits associations from deducting late fees [...]

Condorama IV

The DCCA's Hawaii Real Estate Commission will host Condorama IV, a free educational seminar, presented by CAI Hawaii on Saturday, November 17, 2018 from 9 AM to 11 AM at the Hawaii State Capitol auditorium on Oahu. This seminar’s topics include the sprinkler ordinance, service and assistance animals, mediation, and the new laws that impact them. Speakers include attorneys from Ekimoto and Morris, LLC, Anderson Lahne Fujisaki, LLP, and a representative from the Honolulu Fire Department. See the [...]

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 [...]