Ask the HOA Expert: Rental limitations, Board Meeting Minutes, Increased Interest

Ask the HOA Expert: Rental limitations, Board Meeting Minutes, Increased Interest

Question: I purchased my house several years ago. The next year, the members voted to set a limit on rentals. I am serving in the US Air Force and was recently deployed overseas for 1-2 years. I would take a sizeable loss if I sold now so I contacted the HOA board to request permission to rent my house until I return. The rental policy provides for exceptions due to hardship. Yet the board informed me that there were too many rentals already and that my request was denied. What can I do?

Answer: Hardship provisions are meant to be exceptions to the rule so the fact that there are “too many rentals” is immaterial. Members of the US military are entitled to an exemption due to deployment. If the board is unwilling to grant your hardship exception, an attorney letter on your behalf will help.

Question: We are a self-managed HOA. Over the years, the board has only distributed minutes of the annual meetings. Should we be sending minutes of board meetings and if so, should we wait until they have been approved?

Answer: Distribute minutes clearly marked DRAFT within two weeks after each meeting along with the caveat that they are subject to additions and correction at the next meeting. Distributing DRAFT minutes is important since there may be action items that will take place before the next meeting and members need to be informed before the fact, not after. Get email addresses for distribution purposes to eliminate cost and improved efficiency.

Question: The board has begun to charge 12% interest on past due balances. This is in conflict to the governing documents which state 8% per annum.

Answer: The board cannot institute a collection policy that contradicts the governing documents. Only an appropriate vote of the members (as defined by the governing documents) can change or eliminate the stated percentage.

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