New Jersey HOA Laws and Regulations
Know your association’s laws
Know your association’s laws
The NJ Common Interest Property Act is the primary framework that governs all types of Common Interest Communities within the state including Homeowners’ Associations and Condominium Associations. HOAs in New Jersey are also required to be organized as non-profit corporations and are therefore subject to all state Nonprofit Laws.
The primary purpose of HOAs is to maintain the common elements of the community and to protect property values. To accomplish those goals, the community association can collect reasonable regular assessments from homeowners to create a maintenance budget.
Homeowners’ associations have the power to charge fines to homeowners in violation of community rules and regulations. If an account becomes delinquent, the association may place liens on the property and, in extreme cases, can even foreclose on the property despite on-time mortgage payments.
Community rules and regulations are created by the association board of directors. For new regulations to become effective, the board must vote on them during an official board of directors meeting. Notice of meetings must be given to all homeowners and any association member has the right to attend. Once a new regulation is approved, a notice of the change must be sent to homeowners. The board may not enforce new regulations if it restricts rights previously held by a homeowner upon purchase of the unit.
The Master Deed (pg. 8) must be filed with the county in which the community is located. The master deed must contain a detailed land survey, a description of the property, approximate dimensions of common elements, and the allocation of interest for each property. The allocation of interest determines homeowner voting rights. The articles of incorporation and community bylaws must be filed along with the master deed.
It is the responsibility of the board to maintain detailed community records (pg. 39) and make them reasonably available to all association members. These records include:
All records must be made reasonably available to unit owners. Copies can be made and sent to unit owners upon request. The association may charge homeowners for the cost of making copies.
Communities with $100,000+ in gross receipts must get an annual audit by a certified public accountant. Communities with gross receipts totaling between $25,000 and $100,000 must get an audit every third year.
Homeowners in New Jersey have the right to vote in board elections and to adopt or amend community regulations at member meetings. The number of votes given to each unit owner is decided by the allocation of interests on the master deed. Typically, votes are awarded based on property value or property size as a percentage of the whole community.
Member meetings must be held annually, if not more frequently as described by community bylaws. Notice for the meetings must be sent out at least 10 days, but not more than 60 days, before the meeting. Special meetings can be called at any time by the association president, a majority vote by the board of directors, or by a petition signed by at least 20% of the allocated votes unless otherwise stated in community bylaws.
Amendments can be made to the master deed or bylaws with a 67% vote from homeowners. Changes to unit boundaries must only be approved by affected parties. A common interest community may be terminated with an 80% vote from association members.
Association members may attend all board meetings and must be allowed a reasonable time to speak. Homeowners also have the right to view community documents including financial records, meeting minutes, and proposed budgets.