The laws governing homeowners associations (HOAs) vary widely from state to state. Arguably the grand-daddy of all statutory imposts that govern HOAs is California’s CIVIL CODE SECTION 4000-4070 through 6870-6876, more commonly known as the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act; or Davis-Stirling for short.
Davis-Stirling was the brain child of California Assemblyman Lawrence W. Stirling who authored the bill that was originally enacted in 1985. Since that time the law has been revised and reorganized into its present form, most recently with a sweeping reorganization and recodification that occurred as a result of California Assembly Bill 805, which was passed by the legislature in 2012.
In addition to creating what is easily the most comprehensive regulatory environment in the country for HOAs, Davis-Stirling has provided at least some motivation for increasing the regulatory oversight of HOAs by several state governments, in particular other western states such as Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Hawaii.
While it is the current popular trend to argue against government regulation and “too much government,” it is the opinion of The HOA Detective that HOAs and the companies that manage them are sorely in need of better regulation and a more strict statutory construct to govern the affairs of these organizations and the management industry that has evolved into a largely unregulated enterprise with a tremendous fiduciary duty to its client base.
It is in every homeowners best interest to understand the laws that exist in their state, should they choose to live in an HOA. In those instances where little regulatory legislation exists it is perhaps more important to know what “rights” you do have (if any) so that you may hopefully prevent yourself from becoming embroiled in a dispute for which there is little if any statutory relief.
In those states where there are laws that govern HOAs it is far better to know what you are getting yourself into before you purchase a home in an HOA than it is to find out after the fact. In this context your research into the HOA laws in your state is part of the due diligence process that every buyer should undertake before committing to the purchase of a home in an HOA, whether it is a single-family home or a condominium.
There are several areas of state law that can have a potential impact on the home buying process. Some are codified under the laws that govern the creation and operation of common interest developments (CIDs) while others are embedded in the laws that govern real estate transactions; most notably any statutes which govern the real estate disclosure requirements for residential property transactions. In states like California, Oregon and Washington the disclosure laws are comprehensive and exacting, at least by comparison to the laws of certain other states.
In California and Washington the buyer of a home is entitled to a significant amount of information that the seller must provide as a mandatory requirement under each state’s property disclosure laws. In Oregon the buyer is entitled to much the same information from the seller but only in the event that they ask for it as a condition of the sale. In all three states the information that a buyer is entitled to receive prior to committing to a purchase includes various records and financial documents pertaining to the HOA in which the home is located.
At the other end of the spectrum are states such as Florida and New York where a home buyer is not specifically entitled to any information about the HOA under the state’s real estate disclosure laws. In these instances it is imperative for the buyer to understand what they are, or are not entitled to receive under the law, so that they can include in their offer a requirement that the seller provide any information that is not mandated by law.
Throughout the country the laws generally fall somewhere between these extremes. Until such time as there is a comprehensive, nation-wide overhaul of the regulatory environment surrounding HOAs it is very much a case of Caveat Emptor, or Buyer Beware!
As a service to his readers The HOA Detective has undertaken the somewhat arduous task of researching the laws of the fifty states in an effort to provide a clearinghouse of information for those of you who are considering the purchase of a home in an HOA. As time permits he will to prowl the internet and various reference sources to obtain the information needed to complete this data-basing project.
Do understand that The HOA Detective is not an attorney and in no way is he offering legal advice or counsel as part of this undertaking. For this reason there is no commentary on the laws of each state; only links to various websites and/or contact information for government agencies that may be able to provide additional assistance for buyers and homeowners who already live in HOAs. Readers are advised to seek legal counsel for all matters pertaining to real property transactions and matters related to HOA law.
Alaska: Common interest developments in Alaska are governed by Alaska Statutes (AS) Title 34, Chapter 8, also known as the Common Interest Ownership Act. AS 34.08.59 outlines the specific disclosure requirements imposed on the seller in a transaction involving a property in a condominium or planned development.
AS Title 34, Chapter 8: http://touchngo.com/lglcntr/akstats/Statutes/Title34/Chapter08.htm
Arizona: Common interest developments in Arizona are governed by Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS), Title 33. Title 33, Chapter 9 governs condominiums. Chapter 16 governs planned developments.
ARS Title 33-Property: http://www.azleg.gov/ArizonaRevisedStatutes.asp?Title=33
ARS 33-1806 establishes the disclosure requirements for the resale of units in a Planned Development.
ARS 33-1806: http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ars/33/01806.htm
Arkansas: Common interest developments in Arkansas are governed by Title 18, Chapter 13 of the Arkansas Code (AC), also known as the Horizontal Property Act.
AC Title 18, Chapter 13: http://www.ncsl.org/documents/environ/ARcondo.pdf
California: Common interest developments in California are governed by CALIFORNIA CIVIL CODE PART 5, Chapters 1 through 10; also known as the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act.
The complete text of California’s Davis-Stirling Act may be found here: http://www.calassoc-hoa.com/Homeowners-Association/Davis-Stiriling-Civil-Codes/Complete-2014-Davis-Stirling-Code.aspx
Other websites that provide useful information about CIDs in California include:
Colorado: Common interest developments in Colorado are governed by Title 38, Article 33.3 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS); also known as the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act.
Title 38, Article 33.3: http://www.cohoalaw.com/CCIOA%20-%202006%20annotated.pdf
In 2012 the Colorado General Assembly revised the section of Common Interest Ownership Act that governs condominiums (Condominium Ownership Act).
Colorado Condominium Act-2012 Revision: http://cdn.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheadername1=Content-Disposition&blobheadername2=Content-Type&blobheadervalue1=inline%3B+filename%3D%22Colorado+Condominium+Ownership+Act+%28COA%29+.pdf%22&blobheadervalue2=application%2Fpdf&blobkey=id&blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobwhere=1252016246138&ssbinary=true
Article 35.7 governs the disclosure requirements in connection with the conveyance of residential property in Colorado.
CRS 38-35.7-102: http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/Colorado/
Delaware: Common interest developments in Delaware are governed by Title 25, Chapter 22 of the Delaware Code(DC).
DC Title 25, Chapter 22: http://delcode.delaware.gov/title25/title25.pdf
Florida: Common interest developments in Florida are governed by Title XL of the Florida Statutes (FS). Chapter 718 of the FS governs condominiums. Chapter 720 governs the administration of HOAs in general.
Georgia: Common interest developments in Georgia are governed by Title 44, Chapter 3 of the Georgia Code (GC).
Chapter 3, Article 3 of Title 44 is the Georgia Condominium Act.
Chapter 3, Article 6 of Title 44 is the Georgia Property Owners’ Association Act.
Hawaii: Condominiums in Hawaii are governed by HRS 514B-148. http://law.justia.com/codes/hawaii/2011/division3/title28/chapter514b/514b-148/
Idaho: Condominiums in Idaho are governed by Title 55, Chapter 15 of the Idaho Statutes (IS).
Illinois: Condominiums in Illinois are governed by Chapter 765, Section 605 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS).
Indiana: Condominiums in Indiana are governed by Chapter 25 of the Indiana Code (IC). Homeowners associations in general are governed by Chapter 25.5 if the IC.
Kansas: Common interest developments in Kansas are governed by Chapter 58, Article 46 of the Kansas Statutes. Article 46, known as the Kansas Uniform Common Interest Owners Bill of Rights Act, governs both condominiums and planned developments.
KS Chapter 58, Article 46: http://www.kslegislature.org/li_2012/b2011_12/statute/058_000_0000_chapter/058_046_0000_article/
Louisiana: Condominiums in Louisiana are governed by Revised Statute 9:1121.101, otherwise known as the Louisiana Condominium Act.
RS 9:1121.101: http://legis.la.gov/Legis/Law.aspx?p=y&d=106535
Navigation Tip: Use the arrows on either side of the title RS 9:1121.101 to scroll through the entire statute.
Maine: Condominiums in Maine are governed by Title 31, Chapter 31 of the Maine Revised Statutes (MRS). Planned developments are governed by MRS Title 33, Chapter 10.
Condominium Act: MRS 33.1601-101: http://legislature.maine.gov/statutes/33/title33ch31sec0.html
Unit Ownership Act: MRS 33.560: http://legislature.maine.gov/statutes/33/title33ch10sec0.html
Massachusetts: Condominiums in Massachusetts are governed by Title I, Chapter 183A of Massachusetts General Laws.
Title I, Chapter 183A: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartII/TitleI/Chapter183A
New Mexico: Condominiums in New Mexico are governed by Chapter 47 of the New Mexico Statutes (NMS). Article 47-7A-1 through 47-7D-20 are known as the Condominium Act.
The complete text of Article 47-7A-1 – 47-7D-20 may be accessed by clicking on the following link:
To access sections 47-7B-16 through 47-7D-1 click on the More link at the lower left side of the page beneath the section titles.
Michigan: Condominiums in Michigan are governed by Chapter 59 of the Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL), also known as the Condominium Act.
Minnesota: Condominiums in Minnesota are governed by Chapter 515 of the Minnesota Statutes (MS), also known as the Minnesota Uniform Condominium Act. Common interest developments are governed by MS 515B, also known as the Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act.
MS 515.01: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=515
MS 515B.1: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=515B
Nebraska: Condominiums and planned developments in Nebraska are governed by Nebraska Revised Statute (NRS) Chapter 76, also known as the Uniform Property Act. Sections NRS 76-825 to 76-894 of the Uniform Property Act are known as the Nebraska Condominium Act.
NRS, Chapter 76: http://nebraskalegislature.gov/laws/browse-chapters.php?chapter=76
Navigation Tip: To browse the contents of NRS Chapter 76 you may right click on the section number to the left of each section title and then select Open Link in New Tab. This will allow you to view each section without navigating away from the main page.
Nevada: Common interest developments in Nevada are governed by Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) Chapter 116, also known as the Common-Interest Ownership (Uniform Act).
New Hampshire: Condominiums in New Hampshire are governed by Title XXXI, Chapter 356-B of the New Hampshire Statutes (NHS).
NHS, Chapter 356-B: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/NHTOC/NHTOC-XXXI-356-B.htm
New Mexico: Condominiums in New Mexico are governed by
Oregon: Common interest developments in Oregon are governed by Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 94 and 100. ORS 94 governs planned developments. ORS 100 governs condominiums.
Washington: Common interest developments in Washington are governed by Title 64 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW). RCW 64.34 is the Condominium Act and RCW 64.38 is the subsection that governs the administration of planned developments and HOAs in general.
Wisconsin: Condominiums in Wisconsin are governed by Chapter 703 of the Wisconsin Statutes: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/703