need help with learning legal issues in uses of common land
From: Dahako (
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 12:24:23 -0500
Hi all - especially those of you who have been moved in a while - 

We just got the following advice from our developer (who is also a member and
an attorney).  I'm asking for opinions from those more experienced in dealing
with common property.  Is this the way your group went/go about handling use
of common land?  How did you learn about real property issues? Do you have
anything to add that might help us? 

"The development LLC still owns the Eno Commons land, other than those lots
that have actually gone to closing and where another person has received a
deed from the LLC. The land still owned by the LLC is
what we sometimes call the 'common land.' 

Any use or land interest in this land, such as easements for use, must be
legally obtained. For example, easements are legal rights to use a
particular portion of land in a particular way obtained by another party
from the owner. Like deeds of full title, deeds of easements should be duly
documented and recorded at the Register of Deeds, etc. This is because long
after any one of us is long dead, the land will be there, and it's
adviseable for folks coming after us to be able to do a search of records
and have some idea of what burdens land carries, both in the form of rights
other parties have and in the form of things buried below the surface.

As part of the transition to when the Homeowner's Association (HA) is fully
functioning, and prior to the time that it has responsibility for the
common land, I would suggest that the HA consider getting an attorney to do
a presentation on basic land management issues and corporate record keeping
issues. It would be good if such a person had experience advising
non-profit organizations or homeowner's associations, and also had real
estate experience. Some of the topics might include: considerations in
burying things underground, easements, waivers; tax issues; corporate
record keeping, etc; amending governing documents; remedies available to
the association for members' violations of covenants and other governing

Jessie Handforth Kome
Eno Commons Cohousing
Durham, NC
Where all 22 lots are spoken for (though not all are closed yet), 3 households
are moved in, and 12 more houses are underway.  We're in the process of
switching over from being "the group" to being a Homeowners Association.

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