I canít tell you how many times per year I meet with
a newly elected Board, and their first concern is that their
documents are so old, and so out of date, that they completely
need to be tossed in the trash and re-drafted. They are wrong.
Sometimes directors freak out just because the
documents still have language in them that refer to the
developer. So what? If there is no longer a developer, that
provision is now obsolete. Leaving that provision alone does
nothing to hurt your association.
Often times, I encounter old documents that protect
the association better than newer documents do. For example,
last week we spoke about how some documents do little to protect
the association against overnight rentals. You are more likely
to find a willingness for overnight rentals in newer communities
and newer documents, rather than old ones, as developers now
draft documents that seek to coax buyers into buying units by
promising them the ability to make a profit each night the unit
Thereís no question that at least once every few
years, you want to sit down with counsel and discuss possible
changes or updates to the governing documents. But if that
counsel says that the documents basically need a complete
re-write, it may be time to find new counsel.
I like to tell the Board members to simply tell me
what they want to try and accomplish in their community and I
will help them get there. Give me a list of the 4 or 5 things
that are of importance, Iíll start drafting some amendments, and
along the way, if I run into other provisions that should also
be amended, Iíll let you know.
Amending the documents is often times difficult. It
typically requires two-thirds or three quarters of the members
to agree to an amendment. Itís possible, and it is done all the
time. Donít be intimidated by the process and donít be talked
into doing more than what you really need to do.