Posts Tagged ‘Idaho Law’

Racist Covenant Clauses From 1950s Get Press

January 20, 2015

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Last night in honor of Martin Luther King Day, local Boise Channel 6 news ran a story about overtly racist 1950s CC&R provisions in an old Boise subdivision.  However, the story did not provide details about the covenants, but instead quickly pivoted to coverage about the ongoing “Add the Words” campaign.  This is a lobbying campaign to add equal rights protection for sexual orientation to Idaho state law.  So far, these protections are found in Boise City Code and the codes of a few other cities, but not in Idaho’s human rights law. The courts recently legalized gay marriage in Idaho, but in order to get a law like this passed, you still need a certain amount of public interest.

It seems to me that there must not be any recent or interesting stories of discrimination in Idaho based on sexual orientation, if the “Add the Words” coverage has to dig into old CC&Rs covenants to get a news story to tie to the legislative efforts.  If there were even one recent or ongoing story about discrimination based on sexual orientation, the campaign and supportive media would be using it to drive interest in passing the new law.  Or perhaps Channel 6 was just looking for something relevant to say about MLK Day?  That doesn’t happen, does it?

Meanwhile, the lack of news about recent discrimination in HOAs is a hopeful sign that current HOA boards in Idaho are already using common sense in reading their CC&Rs to avoid discriminating against anyone, whether Idaho law explicitly requires it yet or not.  Hopefully that will continue.

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Boise State Public Radio covers Idaho Fine Law

May 28, 2014

http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/new-idaho-law-aims-curb-power-homeowners-associations

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.
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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

The Realities of CCRs (Local op-ed)

March 14, 2014

A local HOA president has written with great perspective about SB 1310, which recently was voted into Idaho Law.
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In particular, I liked these thoughts:

In my experience, getting people to step up and serve has been a real problem. Homeowner associations are required to have an annual meeting to go over issues concerning the community, the budget and to elect officers. It is very difficult to get the required 10 percent of homeowners to show up. Time is valuable, so it is easier to pass the responsibility off to someone else and say rules are unfair.

Our subdivision maintains over 5 acres of so-called common areas for these purposes. We are taxed internally and pay to maintain these common areas by our HOA dues. What would happen if the city had to maintain it?