Amend Community Documents

As a board grows more familiar with the governing documents, many board members find that some of the provisions of the documents are either too vague or too restrictive.  For older associations, some provisions may be archaic or prevent future sales due to their unreasonable nature.

Due to these reasons, it may be time to amend the community documents.  For many associations, trying to pass an amendment with the consent of the membership is a challenge.

Most governing association documents provide that amendments must be passed with a specific percentage of the membership vote as set forth in the association documents.  Some have specific procedures for amendments as well.

If the board is ready to put an amendment out for a vote, the best time to start the process is at the annual meeting.  Put it in the meeting notice and on the agenda to see if you can get the members to decide on the amendment before they leave the annual meeting.  Keep a spreadsheet to see who received ballots.  If the members insist on taking the information home to sleep on it, then provide them with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to return the ballot.  Mail the ballots to the rest of the non-attending members.

Hopefully this will get most of the owners to respond. If not, there is always the option of going door-to-door in an attempt to get the votes you need.

Also, based on the type of association you have, you could do something such as provide a copy of the ballot when you distribute your pool tags or provide a copy with the monthly/annual statement.

Keep in mind that although you obtain the necessary member vote, many of the governing documents require that a lender must be notified of the proposed amendment, and it may required that the lenders of record consent to the amendment.

If the board is considering amending several provisions of the governing documents, consider doing a separate ballot for each section.  The membership may find one section controversial and another acceptable, so the board doesn’t want a member to vote “no” on a whole ballot, if, for example, the member only disagrees with one out of five provisions.

Although this process of amending your governing documents may seem like a tedious process that may take several months, or in some cases, over a year, it is important that the proper attempts are made to get the vote to better your community.  It is especially important that these votes are accurate (are signed by the titled owner(s) ) who are in good standing.