Posts Tagged ‘New Mexico’

New Mexico Gets HOA Reform

June 11, 2013

New Mexico recently adopted an act to govern some basic homeowner association functions. The Act  goes into effect on July 1, 2013.

New Mexico Capitol

New Mexico Capitol

I have not reviewed the Act in depth, and I am not very familiar with the law of New Mexico. However, it appears that the Act addresses a number of concerns local to New Mexico, for instance relating to water shortages. The Act was adopted in addition to a condominium act. The topics addressed in the Act’s title are a good measure of what is covered:
PROVIDING FOR THE FORMATION AND MANAGEMENT OF PLANNED
COMMUNITIES;
REQUIRING NOTICE AND OPEN MEETINGS;
PROVIDING FOR DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS;
ALLOWING AUDITS;
PROVIDING FOR ATTORNEY FEES;
REQUIRING DISCLOSURE OF HOMEOWNER ASSOCIATION INFORMATION TO PURCHASERS;
LIMITING RESTRICTIONS ON THE INSTALLATION OR USE OF SOLAR COLLECTORS AND WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES.

A number of these provisions would be very helpful in Idaho, where we have little clear law addressing homeowner rights, association obligations, or water conservation.  However, the New Mexico statute language seems very much focused on establishing homeowner rights at the expense of all of the other interested parties.  For instance, the law “providing for attorney fees” simply broadens attorney fee provisions to always award attorney fees to the prevailing party if the declaration provides attorney fees to any party.  It would have been more helpful to HOAs, in my mind, to establish a broad right to attorney fees for enforcing HOA rights found in any declaration.  These fees are often what keep homeowners from being able to enforce declaration provisions at all.

 

Good local commentary is found here:  http://www.abqjournal.com/main/208656/biz/new-law-affects-homeowner-associations.html

The Act text is here: http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/handouts/ERD%20-%20Homeowner%20Association%20Act.pdf

 

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All-You-Can-Eat Politics

October 18, 2012

The other morning I was driving my kids to school here in Boise, and I was surprised to notice that a political sign right outside my neighborhood was not a political sign at all.  It was a sneaky ad for Tucanos restaurant.  Now, I love Brazilian barbeque, and I like a good funny ad, but immediately after I chuckled I started to think, not about grilled pineapple, but about whether advertisers were really permitted the same leeway in placing signs as political candidates are granted.

The Albuquerque Tucanos is also apparently actively campaigning, and the local news covered the issue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsdW1arRFe4 .  I did not see media coverage here in Boise, even though we got the same ad coverage.  I suspect the answer is the same here:  This is just littering.

It is election season, and those signs are everywhere here in town.  I’m not going to discuss what individual property owners do on their own land, as that is a topic for another day, but HOAs often own prominent roadside common area.  HOAs are just like any other owner, and they can enforce sign-placement laws.  In Idaho, those laws are here: http://legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title18/T18CH70SECT18-7029.htm.  So an HOA should act like any other responsible property owner and make a decision to clear the signs off or let everyone have their say.

The law:

18-7029. PLACING POSTERS OR PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL ON PUBLIC OR PRIVATE PROPERTY WITHOUT PERMISSION. It shall be unlawful for any person to erect, install, attach or paint, or cause to be erected, installed, attached or painted, election posters or signs upon public or private property, real or personal, in the state of Idaho, without permission from the owner or occupant of such property, and it shall be unlawful for any person to place or leave any literature or other political, promotional or sales materials upon public or private property, real or personal, in the state of Idaho when the owner or occupant of such property, by a sign conspicuously posted on the property, or by other written or audio communication to such person, has forbidden the placing or leaving of literature or other political, promotional or sales material upon that property. Provided, however, that the granting of such permission by any public utility company on behalf of any candidate for public office shall constitute the granting of like permission by such public utility company to all other candidates for the same public office. Any violation of this section shall be a misdemeanor.