Maine HOA Laws and Regulations
Know your association’s laws
Know your association’s laws
Homeowners’ Associations in Maine must be registered as nonprofit corporations and are therefore subject to the Nonprofit Corporation Act. Also, Title 33, Chapter 10 of the Maine code provides more specific regulations related to HOA management.
Association members have an interest in the common elements of the community based on property value. A homeowner with a property worth $200,000 has more of an interest in the community and will get more voting power compared to an association member with a property valued at $120,000. The downside of having more interest in the community is that dues for maintenance will be more expensive.
HOAs exist to protect property values and maintain common elements within the community. To raise funds for property management costs, the association has the power to charge regular assessments to homeowners. If there is an unexpected maintenance cost such as repairs to a community-building after a storm, the HOA can implement an additional special assessment to cover repair costs. If there is extensive damage to the common property and with a 3/4 vote from unit owners, no repairs must be made and the property will be left as is or removed. The cost of the removal will count as a special assessment as well.
If an account becomes delinquent, the HOA may place liens on the property. In extreme cases, they may also foreclose on the property despite on-time mortgage payments. Any payments still due after a foreclosure sale will become the responsibility of association members and must be considered a common expense.
The board of directors may change, adapt, or alter community conditions, covenants, and restrictions (CC&R), along with the community declaration and bylaws. Any amendments made must be recorded in the registry of deeds within the county that the community is located to take effect. The declaration and bylaws must contain specific information according to Chapter 10 §569 and §576 respectively.
It is the responsibility of the board of directors to maintain detailed financial records for the association and make them easily available to all association members. Unit owners must be allowed to view all community documents at convenient hours on weekdays.
Association members have the right to vote on community regulations and to elect and remove members from the board of directors. Member voting power is based on their percentage of interest in the community which is determined by the property value. The percentage of interest cannot change without the consent of the association despite changes in property value.
Membership within the association is mandatory upon purchase of property within the common interest community. Homeowners also cannot exempt themselves from paying community maintenance assessments or special assessments even if they do not use common elements or are away for some time. A property (or properties) may be removed from an HOA with 90% signed approval from all association members along with any lienholders if there are any.
Homeowners have the right to attend all community meetings, including board meetings, and view all community documents including financial records and meeting minutes. The board of directors may hold closed executive meetings for sensitive discussions such as attorney meetings but must allow homeowners at all other meetings.
There must be an annual member meeting to discuss community changes and to elect the board of directors. Board members can be removed at an association meeting for any reason with a 2/3 vote. Association meetings may take place more frequently as described by community bylaws. Special meetings can take place is called by the association president, the board of directors, or 1/20 of association members. Notice for any association meeting must be given within 10 days, but not more than 50 days, before a meeting. A quorum will be met if 10% of the voting power is present.