|RE: Changing C.C and R's. (Was How do You do it?)||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Rob Sandelin (floriferousmsn.com)|
|Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 19:30:54 -0700 (MST)|
Just to add a few things to Joani's post. Your CC&r's are what banks see that define your legal and lending credibility. Same as with your bylaws. These documents are filed usually in a county office and this is what constitutes part of your legal unit title. When a unit is sold in your development the lender makes a copy from the filed copy at the county. If you mess with these documents, you can mess up your lendability, and so unless you have very good reason to do so, don't. If you do, you need to refile the official copy with amendments at the County Office that holds the official copy. In most states you will also have to notify ALL the lenders of the change and in some places even supply all the existing lenders with copies of the changes. Lawyers and lenders create these documents to satisfy themselves, not you and this OK. In many places, there is a strict convention for these documents, which is determined by the lenders and so attorneys just make a copy of a lender approved version, and make a few changes specific to your project. You can and should mostly ignore these documents as far as the running of your community goes. These documents were designed for uncaring condo dwellers and this is not you. I have seen a few groups expend a great deal of time and legal funds making changes, which some attorneys are happy to do because they get paid by the hour, and every change to the boilerplate version will have to be run by the lenders, adding yet more hours to your bill. I have seen a few groups make an abstract of these documents, where some clever member did a digest of the document of its relevant parts. These documents tend to be written in legalese and so a translated version can be useful if you want to know what they say. The good news is, there is no CC&R police but yourselves. Even in CA and NY, which have the most regimented requirements, there is virtually no enforcement of CC&R provisions except by lenders who may ask for a copy of the annual budget or about some other aspect. Also, in most states, if you are organized under a Home owners Association law, the decisions you make in your group meetings, are legally binding as long as they do not conflict with local, county, state or federal laws. So if your group decides that every cat must wear a blue collar, and there is no conflict with other laws, then your decision is legally binding and enforceable. So, if you decide to let the landscape team decide what to plant, this is fine, but if it conflicts with your CC&R's, it is not legally enforceable IF ANYBODY TAKES YOU TO COURT OVER IT. Obviously the probability of court action on your landscaping is very low and so it's not a worry place. A wise woman once told me: Learn the law well, so you can break it carefully. Rob Sandelin Community Works! Process workshops for social change groups www.ic.org/nica/Cw1.htm -----Original Message----- From: cohousing-l [at] freedom2.mtn.org [mailto:cohousing-l [at] freedom2.mtn.org]On Behalf Of Joani Blank Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2000 1:22 AM To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Changing C.C and R's. (Was How do You do it?) I'm not a lawyer or any kind of real estate professional, but it seems to me that with this--or any other similar provision of the CC and Rs, (except perhaps the requirement of written notice of certain kinds of events)-- the Board (which in cohousing is usually everyone in the community) should be able to simply waive the requirement for "written prior approval," and can authorize a committee or, for that matter, an individual, to do anything it wants to with whatever level of group approval it wants. In the case of landscaping for instance, you may want not want to allow a resident to plant oleander or some other poisonous plant in the "private" front or back yard, or pour a concrete slab where there is now dirt, so you might require people messing with their private space to get approval from a landscape committee. Or have the landscape committee come up with a policy for the whole group about what is and isn't okay, after the Board has authorized them to do so. Do not, if at all possible try and change the CC and R's. Bylaws are a little easier to change and House Rules should be very easy to change. But you may not need to change any of these. I expect yours is not the only group to end up with boiler plate C C and Rs. Yours may say, for instance, that Board decisions are made by majority or 2/3 vote. But you probably make decisions by consensus and don't have votes. Tsk, tsk, you might be contravening your CC and Rs. I say, respect, but don't be scared of your C C and Rs. If there is an attorney out there who thinks I'm giving out bad or risky advice, let him or her speak now. Joani Blank (who admits to never carefully reading the CC and Rs at either community she has lived in.) Old Oakland Cohousing at Swan's Market (that's our whole official name)
Changing C.C and R's. (Was How do You do it?) Joani Blank, December 7 2000
- RE: Changing C.C and R's. (Was How do You do it?) Rob Sandelin, December 7 2000
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