Two years ago, the law in Wisconsin was clarified relative to what records unit owners were entitled to inspect and copy. That list used to require a comparison of Ch. 703 and Ch. 181 Wis. Stat. Now what is required to be maintained and produced to unit owners is set forth in 703.20 Wis. Stat. Below is a summary of those lists:Continue Reading Association Records – What You Need to Know
About twenty years ago my friend attorney Jonathan Levine wrote a handout that was entitled “MINUTES…NOT HOURS!” It gave a great account of what was and what was not needed in the minutes. Rather than re-write what he wrote, I simply copied (with minor additions) his list below:Continue Reading Minutes of Meetings – What You Need to Record
Thank you to all who attended our virtual Association Academy on September 17 – If it Weren’t for the People, Association Living Would be Perfect. No need to worry if you missed it, we recorded it for you, and you can access at any time.
To access the recording click HERE. We outline some…
Please join Husch Blackwell’s Condominium & HOA Law Team on February 5, 2021, as we outline the NEW 2020 Robert’s Rules, how parliamentary procedure should be used to run meetings more efficiently, some case examples of fine issues that arise and how to solve them, some basic collection reminders relating to death, trusts and mortgages and why your Rules matter more than you think. We hope this will be both interactive and fun while we share the latest information that homeowner associations (HOAs), condo boards and managers need to know. Looking forward to 2021 and making things as straightforward as possible.
Continue Reading Association Academy: Your Rules, Robert’s NEW Rules and Court Rules Relating to Fines
Most condominiums and homeowner associations (HOAs) are nonstock corporations under Wisconsin Chapter 181. As such their members can make decisions one of three ways:
- Holding a meeting;
- Action by written consent (181.0704 Wis. Stat.). This may be used unless “limited or otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation or bylaws…” For an association to act by written consent, the action must be “approved by members holding at least 80 percent of the voting power, or a different percentage, not less than 50 percent, specified in the articles of incorporation or bylaws.” The written consents must be signed and dated after the date of the last meeting of the members and kept with the minutes
- Action by written ballot (181.0708 Wis. Stat.) This may be used “if permitted by the articles of incorporation or bylaws, any action that may be taken at an annual, regular or special meeting of members may be taken without a meeting if the corporation delivers a written ballot to every member entitled to vote on the matter, the ballot sets for the proposed action and provides an opportunity to vote for or against the proposed action.” “Approval by written ballot … valid only when the number of votes cast by ballot equals or exceeds the quorum required to be present at a meeting authorizing the action, and the number of approvals equals or exceeds the number of votes that would be required to approve the matter at a meeting at which the total number of votes cast was the same as the number of votes cast by ballot.”
I recently read an article on the difference between condominium and homeowner association officers and directors by an attorney out of Ohio, Jennifer B. Cusimano of Kaman & Cusimano, LLC. It was well written, clarified a subject that is often confused, and inspired me to do my best to explain the difference to our readers.
In simple terms, directors are elected by the owners, officers are NOT. Officers are elected by the Board of Directors annually.
Continue Reading What is the Difference Between Community Association Directors and Officers?
Not following ALL of the required procedures when preparing amendments to your association governing documents can be VERY expensive. Take the time, money and effort to do it right.
In 2015 the board for Forest Lakes Master Association distributed notice that it would be holding a vote to amend its voting procedure at its annual meeting. The board and property manager alleged that they had received the required votes for the amendment. Because of some interesting counting techniques, the number of votes in favor of the amendment kept rising. One owner, Johnson, emailed the board and stated that he believed the board failed to follow proper voting procedures and that the amendment did not pass. After counting the votes, Johnson confirmed his belief that the board had violated the voting procedures in their documents. Johnson demanded that the Board find the voting procedure void. When the board refused Johnson filed suit. Both parties moved for summary judgment and the association also asked for attorney fees.
Continue Reading Improper Association Governing Document Amendments – How Expensive is it When You Do it Wrong? VERY
A 79-unit condominium association held a meeting to remove the directors from office and elect new ones. The president objected to the meeting, the procedure and the notice, but since the association followed the documents and had more than half of the unit owners vote for the removal, the directors were removed.
Continue Reading Directors Removed from Office – Just Follow the Documents
Do we really have to tell all of these people who never come to any homeowner meetings that we are having elections? YES. You need to keep them fair if you want them to be valid. In less than a minute you can know all you need to know in this Vlog.
As Condominium and HOA attorneys, we often receive questions from our clients dealing with all the issues that can get in the way of conducting a successful annual meeting. Most often, it is the issue of not being able to achieve a quorum of owners in attendance—which stymies the Association’s ability to hold Board member elections, approve the budget, and take other important actions to further the HOA’s business for the coming year. So what happens if an Association’s Bylaws calls for annual board elections, but the Association does not hold elections for a number of years? Is there a Board? Does the Board have any authority? A recent case addressed these issues, and the court’s findings might surprise you.
Continue Reading If Your Association Fails to Hold Board Elections at an Annual Meeting, Do You Still Have a Board? The Answer May Surprise You…