Homeowner’s associations in Connecticut are also known as Common Interest Communities (CIC). They are governed by the Common Interest Ownership Act. The primary purpose of HOAs in Connecticut is to protect property values within a community and maintain all common areas.
Common Interest Community
To create a Common Interest Community, the association declaration, or rules of the community association, must be recorded in the government office of every town in which the community resides.
The declaration must include several elements including:
A list of all rules adopted by the community association.
A description of every unit.
The maximum number of units that may be created within the community.
A description of common elements.
The allocation of interest per unit.
Any restrictions on the sale of units.
Association members in Connecticut receive voting rights and fees based on the value of their property in terms of a percentage of the whole community. If an association member owns property within the community valued at $200,000, they will receive greater voting power when compared to an association member with property valued at $120,000. This percentage also applies to costs for maintaining common areas and paying for other community projects. This is the “allocation of interest per unit” required in the declaration.
Common Interest Community Rights and Responsibilities
The Common Interest Ownership Act provides a list of all powers given to the HOA board of directors in Sec. 47-244.
The association board of directors has the authority to propose new amendments to the declaration and bylaws. To officially implement changes, a 67% vote is required from the association members unless a smaller amount is allowed by the community declaration. The number of votes required to make amendments must be above 50%. Any changes made to the declaration or bylaws must be recorded with the local government.
The community association has the right to make and amend the community budget. Once a new budget has been adopted, the board must give notice to all members and have a meeting to discuss any changes, allowing the community a chance to veto. The community association is also allowed to impose assessments on homeowners for regular maintenance of the community.
Liens may be placed on the property in the event of account delinquency. The board may also regulate the use of common elements or even deny entry to common elements and units, suspend voting rights, and withhold services as long as it will not pose a safety risk. In extreme cases, the association may even foreclose on the property regardless of on-time mortgage payments.
The community association is responsible for keeping records on file as described in Sec 47-260.
Detailed financial records and tax returns of the association for at least three years.
Minutes of all meetings other than executive closed sessions.
The names of unit owners showing the number of belonging to each unit owner.
Ballots and voting activity by unit owners for one year after elections.
All documents must be made available to unit owners except sensitive information such as attorney communications, existing or potential litigation, or individual unit files. The board may charge reasonable fees to make copies of any records for unit owners.
Homeowner Rights in Connecticut
Homeowners retain the power to make changes and amendments to the community declaration and bylaws. Unless otherwise stated in the declaration, a 65% vote by eligible unit owners can make changes in community regulations. With an 80% vote, association members can prohibit or restrict the uses or occupancy of a unit so long as there is a reason. An 80% vote can also disband the Common Interest Community. If one person has more than 65% to 80% of the voting power, the association may choose to increase the minimum percentage of votes required to make changes to the community declaration or bylaws.
All association members may attend the meeting of the executive board. The board must grant reasonable opportunity for homeowners to speak on community matters. The board must give 48 hours’ notice before meetings to allow owners to attend. In special cases, the board may conduct closed meetings if the meeting pertains to sensitive matters such as legal hearings or account delinquencies. In all meetings, attendance of at least 20% of the voting power makes a quorum.
Common Interest Ownership Act
To ensure that your community association is being run following all state and local laws, it helps to have a professional on your side. CSM has a team of experienced professionals that have worked with communities in almost every state in the US. Specializing in HOA financial management, we can help your board of directors manage association finances, write and submit documents, and prepare for audits. If you have any questions regarding state HOA laws and regulations, give us a call at (865) 315-7505, contact us online or email us at email@example.com.