Posts Tagged ‘Fines’

Governor Otter Signs Idaho’s HOA Fine Bill Into Law

March 20, 2014

Yesterday, Governor Otter signed SB 1310 into law.
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The law will take effect this July as Idaho Code Title 55, Section 115 (I.C. 55-115).
A brief legislative history of the bill is available here.

However, it is interesting to see how quickly a bad experience of one homeowner can result in a new law if the conditions are right.

Here is a timeline of events a little more thorough than the legislative history.

August 2013, according to Senator Rice’s testimony before the House, an owner in Caldwell, Idaho has a lawn that went yellow. She made some effort to fix the problem, but still got fined.

On Monday, November 4, 2013, Senator Rice posts on his blog that he had “been receiving complaints about homeowner associations and specifically management companies abusing homeowner associations in subdivisions.” He asks for comments/input from the community.

Up until February 2 , 2014, Senator Rice meets with constituents and the National Association of Realtors working on his Bill.

When it was ready for the Idaho Senate, Senator Rice includes the following statement of purpose:

RS22743C1
Currently Home Owners Associations enforce covenants and restrictions in subdivisions by fining
individual home owners for violations of such covenants and restrictions. Frequently, these fines
are levied despite home owner attempts to comply with the covenants, and without any process
other than a letter informing the home owner that they will be fined. The fines are then enforced
through liens on the home owners real property. This bill puts reasonable requirements in place
that protect the home owner from arbitrary and capricious actions by the home owners association
and provides a set of standards that courts can use if there is a dispute regarding the validity of the
fine in a subsequent lien foreclosure action.

On February 7, 2014, Senator Rice’s Bill is presented to the Senate Commerce and Human Resources Committee. It passes easily.

On February 27, 2014, Senator’s Rice Bill passes on the floor of the Senate with a unanimous vote.

Local media is supportive of the bill.
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A poll of newspaper web readers in Idaho shows a 60-40 split on whether HOA’s add value to property. I like comments made by a local board member.

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March 7, 2014, the House Commerce and Human Resources Committee reads and passes the bill on to the House floor.

March 12, 2014, the Bill passes on the house floor.
1310 Vote

March 19, 2014, Governor Otter signs the bill.

Now the clock is just ticking until the law goes into effect as our new Idaho Code S. 55-115. That leaves just over three months for all of Idaho’s HOAs to get their fines into compliance before the law is effective. I’m sure we’ll be busy here at VF Law with our HOA clients. We had a good turnout at today’s lunch among managers interested in discussing the law, and next week Vial Fotheringham Boise is hosting a free training for Board members (Thursday 7 pm) at our office. Drop by if you’d like.

Event Details are here

Idaho House Commerce & Human Resources Committee Gives Thumbs Up To SB 1310: Moved to Floor of House

March 7, 2014

On Wednesday, March 5, 2014, the House Commerce and Human Resources Committee heard Senator Rice of Caldwell present his Bill, SB 1310. Senator Rice, the witnesses, and the members of the committee seemed to agree on the need for some legislation in Idaho for homeowner associations, and on the importance of fines and proper fines only. There was some testimony that the specific language of the statute was not clear enough, however in the end the bill was given a “Do Pass” recommendation and sent to the House Floor for a third reading and approval.

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The entire hearing can be heard here: http://lso.legislature.idaho.gov/MediaArchive/ShowMediaByCommittee.do. However, you must select the appropriate “standing committee” of the House and correct date to download the file.

Today, Friday March 7, SB 1310 was on the House’s calendar for a third reading, but the House did not get past the education bills also on the calendar. Perhaps it will be taken up next Monday.

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.