Archive for February, 2014

New HOA Law For Idaho? SB 1310 passes unanimously.

February 28, 2014

ope-capitolWe have been hoping for new HOA laws in Idaho for some time. It looks like we may have some on the way.

Senate Bill 1310 passed the Idaho Senate unopposed yesterday. If it becomes law, the Bill would appear in Idaho Code Section 55-115, and would make it illegal for a homeowners association to assess fines against homeowners unless certain conditions are met.

In particular, the HOA’s CC&Rs must allow for fines. The HOA’s Board must vote for the fines and the owner must be given written notice and an opportunity to cure the violation.

These are all logical and fair restrictions, and are consistent with how HOA law has developed in other states. However, it would have been nice to see a broad HOA law drafted rather than simply having one issue legislated at a time. This is a good start, though.

I will try to post a more thorough analysis of the law and its consequences for HOA boards in Idaho in the days to come.

The bill itself is posted here.

17 55-115. HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION — PROHIBITED CONDUCT. (1) As used in
18 this section:
19 (a) “Homeowner’s association” shall have the same meaning as in section
20 45-810(6), Idaho Code.
21 (b) “Board” means the entity that has the duty of governing the associ22
ation that may be referred to as the board of directors, executive board
23 or any such similar name.
24 (c) “Member” or “membership” means any person or entity owning or pos25
sessing an interest in residential real property or lot within the phys26
ical boundaries of an established homeowner’s association.
27 (2) No fine may be imposed for a violation of the covenants and restric28
tions pursuant to the rules or regulations of the homeowner’s association
29 unless the authority to impose a fine is clearly set forth in the covenants
30 and restrictions and:
31 (a) A majority vote by the board shall be required prior to imposing any
32 fine on a member for a violation of any covenants and restrictions pur33
suant to the rules and regulations of the homeowner’s association.
34 (b) Written notice by personal service or certified mail of the meeting
35 during which such vote is to be taken shall be made to the member at least
36 thirty (30) days prior to the meeting.
37 (c) In the event the member begins resolving the violation prior to the
38 meeting, no fine shall be imposed so long as the member continues to ad
39 dress the violation in good faith until fully resolved.
40 (d) No portion of any fine may be used to increase the remuneration of
41 any board member or agent of the board.

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Right Stuff For An HOA?

February 15, 2014

I have to admit, I would shy away from a fight with Chuck Yeager. I mean the guy is just so tough!

But apparently the general is not paying his assessments, so he was heading for a conflict with his neighbors at characteristically high speed.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/02/07/famed-pilot-chuck-yeager-sued-by-homeowners-group/

Gen. Chuck Yeager, the first pilot to break the sound barrier in the Bell X-1 "Glamorous Glinnis" in..

Flood Insurance in the News

February 3, 2014

It looks like the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act is making progress in DC. Here is CAI’s position press release on it: http://www.caionline.org

GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
By a vote of 67 to 32, the U.S. Senate has approved S.1926, the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act,” legislation delaying substantial increases in flood insurance premiums. S.1926 now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives for further legislative action.
“When Congress reformed the National Flood Insurance Program in 2012 it was with the best of intentions in mind,” said Thomas Skiba, CEO of Community Associations Institute. “Unfortunately these changes made flood insurance coverage too expensive not only for individual homeowners, but also many community associations.”
The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Biggert-Waters Act) was intended to place the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on sound financial footing through increases in flood insurance premiums. As the Biggert-Waters Act was implemented, homeowners and community associations saw flood insurance premiums soar to unaffordable levels.
While some property owners qualified for a 5-year phase-in of higher premiums, many did not. Homeowners seeking to sell their property did not qualify for the premium phase-in, effectively lowering real estate values by thousands of dollars. Faulty federal flood maps also caused homeowners living in properties constructed above flood levels to see unaffordable increases in flood insurance premiums.
S.1926 puts Biggert-Waters Act premium increases on hold until the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can determine the impact of the increases on property owners as well as the NFIP. The legislation further requires FEMA to submit a plan to Congress that will increase flood insurance rates in a sustainable, affordable manner, protecting the long-term financial stability of households, businesses, and the NFIP.
Despite the backing of a supermajority of Senators, S.1926 faces opposition from the White House as well as some key members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Just prior to the Senate vote on S.1926, the Obama Administration released a Statement of Administration Position arguing against key provisions of the legislation. Additionally, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) has voiced his opposition to delaying Biggert-Waters Act flood insurance premium increases.
“CAI supports a strong, financially stable flood insurance program that charges premiums reflecting actual flood risk, but the program must work for the millions of community association homeowners and residents,” said Dawn Bauman, CAI’s Senior Vice President for Government and Public Affairs. “CAI urges the House of Representatives to quickly approve S.1926 or pass a workable alternative. The stakes are too high for Congress not to make changes to the Biggert-Waters Act.”
S. 1926 was championed by numerous Senators, including Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and David Vitter (R-LA). As a member of the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance, CAI worked with national and regional organizations to build support for S.1926, which culminated strong, bipartisan vote in the Senate.

CAI will continue to monitor the debate on flood insurance rate relief and advise members of key votes on HFIA in 2014. If you have any questions or comments on flood insurance or other governmental issues affecting community associations, please send an email to government@caionline.org or call (888) 224-4321.

Blogs that matter…?

February 3, 2014

Thanks to Taylor Law for recognizing my half-hearted attempts to keep a blog. I have recently learned that, when litigation is rocking, it is hard to think about much of anything else. And I don’t want to blog about ongoing litigation.

See message below for a local Idahoan trying to follow Idaho law blogs:

Greetings,

On behalf of us here at Taylor Law & Mediation PLLC we would like to congratulate you on your blog’s selection to our roster, Idaho Law:
Blogs That Matter 2014.

We dug through pages and pages of Google search results to complete a list of blogs written by attorneys or about the law in Idaho. If the author called it a blog, we called it a blog and added it to our list.
The initial list started off with more than 45 blogs. We understood lawyers might actually be busy running their practices, so we gave a generous six-month grace period to all bloggers. Any blog that had not been updated within six months as of Dec. 15, 2013 were removed from the list. From there we used our own criteria and scrubbed down the list to the best law blogs in Idaho.

We would like to share your expertise with our readers and invite you to participate as a guest blogger in your specialty for our firm’s blog, Fine Print. It could be your best post from your blog or a fresh piece on a current and trending topic, whatever you feel would best represent your field of law.

In addition, we would encourage you to place the Idaho Law: Blogs That Matter 2014 badge on your blog as a sign to your readers your blog was vetted and chose among the best in the state. There are four different logos to pick from that you may choose from. They have been attached with this email and please let us know if you need technical help displaying the badge. The full roster is available here:
http://www.taylorlm.com/voices/blogs-that-matter-directory-of-idaho-law-blogs/.

Again, congratulations on being selected. We appreciate the work you are putting forth to making the law accessible to the people of Idaho and look forward to sharing your guest post.

Sincerely,

Robert J. Taylor
Taylor Law and Mediation PLLC