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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 36635
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I am trying to get legal information on Non Profit HOA

Customer Question

Hi, I am trying to get legal information on Non Profit HOA entities. I have read laws and want to confirm my reading. If what I am reading is correct: An HOA (and is a non profit corp) must form a contract with me in writing at the time I closed on my home. If not, I am not in a legal binding contract with the HOA. In addition, the covenants have never been given to me.
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state the association is in?
Customer: oklahoma
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Not by me. I am a homeowner and looking into filing against them.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No. My main point is: What legal obligation does an HOA non profit have in giving a new homeowner the covenant at the time of closing. If the HOA does not.....is the homeowner legally bound to the HOA? Thank you
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 8 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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An HOA (and is a non profit corp) must form a contract with me in writing at the time I closed on my home. If not, I am not in a legal binding contract with the HOA.

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Kind of... What I mean is that if there was a HOA in existence that governs the development, or provisions for one that are mentioned in the deed or Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions that are of record in the land records office, at the time that you purchase, then you are automatically agreeing to be subject to the governance of the HOA.

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So the HOA doesn't have to sit down with each individual homeowner or buyer and sign a new contract with them each time a house is sold. By virtue of buying in the neighborhood, you are explicitly agreeing to comply with the Bylaws, CCRs and any new rules properly passed by the HOA regarding the neighborhood.

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The HOA doesn't have anything to do with the sale of property between buyer and seller. So it is up to the buyer to investigate what they are buying into and for the seller to provide full disclosure that there is a HOA and copies of any Bylaws and CCRs that may govern the development.

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I know HOAs can be a pain, but if you buy into a neighborhood that has one, you are stuck under their control.. That is why many people refuse to buy in a neighborhood with a HOA....they don't like to have someone telling them what they can and can't do. And some people prefer them as they don't want people to do thinks like park junk cars in the yard and damage their property values.. So they have positives and negatives... just depends on the HOA.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I have not been given the CCR's. I have lived here over a year and just now got them to give me the Bylaws....I have never seen a covenant. Can they do that legally?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
are you saying they do not have to give me a covenant with the laws? such as the terms that they can put lien on your house if you don't pay?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I am reading about the different in written and constructive ....sounds like those are important terms in the law when discussing whether a homeowner knew about the rules. Sounds like to me according to this 1975 act or law....that they must let us know what the rules are at the time of signing up. Does that 1975 act sound familiar?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
constructive notice is the term I am reading about verses written notice
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
no the seller did not have any information on the HOA. I knew nothing about the HOA when I moved here
Expert:  Barrister replied 8 months ago.

Yes, in OK, there is a law that states that the HOA has a duty to initially contact owners with copies of everything that they are agreeing to be subject to. That is also something that should have been provided by the seller at or before closing so a buyer knows what they are getting into.

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The CCRs are recorded in the local land records office and are public documents so anyone can get copies. The Bylaws are normally acquired from the Secretary of the HOA..

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Sounds like to me according to this 1975 act or law....that they must let us know what the rules are at the time of signing up. Does that 1975 act sound familiar?

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Yes, In 1975, the Oklahoma Legislature enacted the “Real Estate Development Act” (REDA). O.S. tit. 60 § 852. The old law says this:

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B. An owners association shall be formed by the execution of an instrument signed and acknowledged by all owners of the real property included. Such instrument shall set forth in detail the nature of the obligations of the members and​ shall be filed of record in the office of the county clerk of the county wherein the real property is located.

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The newer updated law says this:

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B. An owners association shall be formed by the execution of an instrument signed and acknowledged by all owners of the real property included. Such instrument shall set forth in detail the nature of the obligations of the members and shall be filed of record in the office of the county clerk of the county wherein the real property is located. The instrument shall include a description of said real property.

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But the relevant portion is this: No lien may be placed or mortgage foreclosed unless the homeowner was informed in writing upon joining the owners association of the existence and content of the owners association restrictions and rules, and of the potential for financial liability to the individual owner by joining said owners association.

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So if the HOA never contacted you in writing after you bought the property and provided any rules and restrictions, then they can't hold you liable for any breach and you can fight them in court if they tried to fine or charge you.

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thanks

Barrister

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