Working Together on the HOA Board

Amending Your HOA Documents

In addition to any other documents that an HOA feels are important, there are three that form the foundation for any association: the Articles of Incorporation; the Bylaws; and the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions.

These three documents are the ones you should give the greatest consideration when the time comes to update and/or amend your HOA documents. Most HOAs have a set time period for updating these items, and with good reason. Things can change quite a bit over a period of 10, 15, or 20 years.

There are plenty of things to look for when making amendments to your HOA documents. First, you should look to eliminate provisions that are obsolete, ones that are no longer enforced or observed. You should keep an eye out for provisions that are in conflict with any newly established bylaws.

It’s possible that when the HOA documents were drafted, they were not particularly well written. They might have been created on a budget, or by a deadline, and could be filled with ambiguity that will only be obvious upon review. They might not be particularly well organized (e.g., they might be missing a table of contents or paragraph headings). And there might just be typos and grammatical mistakes that were never corrected. All of these elements should be improved upon.

Finally, the documents should be updated so that they are reflective of the members’ current living experience, not that of members 15 or 20 years ago. As such, they should include references to current technology (e.g., cell phones, satellite dishes, etc.)

Making these amendments will ensure that your HOA documents are clean, easy to understand, and up to date. And that will certainly make things easier when the next round of scheduled updates comes along.

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