HOA Rules and Regs

Understanding Elevated HOA Fees in Hawaii

Hawaii's elevated cost of living is a well-known fact, significantly surpassing the national average. As a result, those relocating to the islands often find themselves compelled to implement strategic lifestyle adjustments to counterbalance this steep rise in expenses. One of the prominent contributing factors to this augmented cost is the considerably higher Homeowners Association (HOA) fees prevalent in Hawaii, which are more than double the national average. For individuals contemplating the [...]

Do You Have a Right to Protect Your View?

Imagine you have been enjoying your beautiful Maui condo for years, then you notice a palm tree creeping into your ocean view. You may think that there is a simple fix to restore the view- which was an important part of choosing this particular condo. However, most homeowners will find that they don’t have a right to their view, and little recourse. As legal website, Nolo, points out, unless specifics about views are protected in writing by ordinance, association documents or subdivision rules, [...]

A Guide to Reserve Study Standards

The Community Association Institute released updated reserve study standards addressing maintenance, building inspections, and long-life components. These updates are critical for reserve study providers to incorporate into their regular practice and provide an excellent tool for board members and managers to better understand what they should be prepared to discuss during their next reserve study. You can find a printable copy HERE, or refer to the guide text below: Scope and Intent of Reserve [...]

2023 Legislative Session Recap

The Hawaii Legislative session opened on January 18th with nearly four dozen condominium related bills submitted for discussion and debate. Here is the close-of-session status of the bills we followed since the last newsletter. All of the bills we having been tracking, of interest to HOAs, were signed into law. Act 199 Passed Authorizes a condominium association to provide a summary of the required information in its budget. Authorizes a condominium association's reserve study to forecast a loan [...]

HOA Guidelines for Blissful Barbequing

We enjoy beautiful weather year-round in Hawaii, yet summer always seems more synonymous with barbequing. In an HOA, having a few BBQ guidelines could mean the difference between summer fun or disaster. Experts suggest that if you've got a grill or several in shared areas that owners can use, you should post some rules to ensure safety. Since "grilling season" is upon us, now is a great time to review, or if you don’t have rules, incorporate them into those areas where you have grills located. I [...]

New SMA and Shoreline Rules for Maui County

After over a decade of collaboration between the community and the county, Maui County’s Planning Commission approved updates to the Special Management Area (SMA) and Shoreline Rules. The updates were approved by the Commission in an 8-0 vote on March 28. When adopted, the rules will bring more balance and flexibility for homeowners, while also improving coastal resilience for the environment. Maui County originally established SMA and Shoreline Rules in the early 1970s to create shoreline build [...]

HOA Related Bills Introduced in 2023 Legislature

When Hawaii's legislative session opened on January 18th , there were nearly four dozen bills related to condominium and homeowner associations submitted for discussion and debate. Bills that successfully made it past multiple committees and chamber crossover and are still active as of this writing include: Fire safety equipment in condominium reserves This bill, among other things, requires and association budget to include: “The estimated costs of fire safety equipment or installations that me [...]

HOA Board Cautions: Better Safe than Sued

Voluntary board members aim to enhance their HOA community's living standards, which is admirable. But the association may also at times take on tough issues involving  sensitive information or controversial subject matter. On occasion, this could put associations, and even directors, in the line of fire for litigation. Directors should possess knowledge regarding actions that may involve legal consequences affecting the organization. Here is a list of top dos and don'ts intended to help board m [...]

Should an HOA Board Ever Bend the Rules?

An association has rules to preserve the overall appearance of the community, to protect the value of common property and owners’ homes, and to make the neighborhood a great place to live. However, there are rare cases when the association may receive a request to waive some regulations and rules. The board doesn’t make such decisions without careful thought first. Upholding the rules and being flexible when issues arise is like walking a tightrope and can become a slippery slope. Board members [...]

Steps to Resolving Disputes in an HOA

While living in a homeowners association ideally would be problem free, conflict unfortunately occurs from time to time. There are several steps that owners and boards may take in resolving conflicts. Talk to the Board/Owner A conversation between the parties in a conflict may help resolve problems. Rather than letting potential misunderstandings, or differing expectations of rights and responsibilities fester, continuing to openly discuss the issues may resolve the problems. Many conflicts in c [...]

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