WRITTEN BY RICHARD THOMPSON POSTED ON THURSDAY, 18 JUNE 2020 05:00
Question: Our current board is considering enforcing long standing architectural restrictions that previous boards failed to enforce. Should we grandfather existing violations or enforce the restrictions retroactively?
Answer: There is no “one answer fits all.” There is never any automatic “grandfathering.” The board needs to weigh each violation and its importance. The big ones may be worth fighting for, while minor ones are not. The board can compromise when it’s in the best interest of the HOA and too expensive to litigate.
Question: When our HOA was developed years ago, the board allowed unit owners to customize the landscaping around their units even though the land was common area. Some have done it well, while others not so well or at all. Our current board is debating whether to return all landscape maintenance to the landscape contractor. What are the challenges?
Answer: Having professional landscape maintenance of landscaping installed by owners simply won’t work. For the contractor to maintain the new area would require replacing the custom landscaping with a standardized maintenance plan.
One fundamental principle that will help guide your board in the future: No Board has authority to grant exclusive use of the general common area to any owner for any reason. This always must be approved by an appropriate vote of the members which could be 100 percent depending on how your governing documents read.