Governing Document Review

Governing Document Review

The Law Firm of Vial Fotheringham LLP offers thorough reviews of homeowner and condominium association governing documents. Many HOAs Western United States have taken advantage of this service, and it has proved a worthwhile investment. The HOA lawyers at Vial Fotheringham have 30 years experience working with planned communities and their governing documents, helping analyze, enforce, interpret, and amend.

As part of the document review, we analyze your Declaration, Bylaws, and (depending on the level of review) any Rules and Regulations the homeowners association has adopted. We comment as to foreseeable problems in the documents, any questions or concerns we have regarding the documents, and what could be done to remedy these potential problems. Because of the time and the expense involved, our attorneys offer three levels of document review. This allows the association to determine the level of detail and expense it wants to invest in the review process:

Level 1 - This is the most basic document review. The review first discusses whether the current Declaration and Bylaws comply with state law and what state law is applicable to the project. It points out any specific inconsistencies with state law contained in the documents. This review is recommended if the association has just gone through the process of turnover. This is also suggested after any amendment has been made to the documents by counsel not experienced in homeowner association law. The final product is one to two pages, and requires only the association's Declaration and Bylaws.

Level 2 - Level 2 reviews discuss the items included in the Level 1 review. Additionally, this review includes suggestions relating to the operation of the HOA as reflected in the documents. For example: suggestions on conducting meetings, ballot votes, rule enforcement, etc. We will also answer up to five specific questions the association has with regard to its documents. This review is recommended after each legislative session in order to ensure compliance with new governing laws. The product is three to five pages and requires only the association's Declaration and Bylaws.

Level 3 - Level 3 reviews discuss the items included in the other two reviews. Additionally, this review contemplates a section-by-section analysis and commentary on all documents affecting the association, including the Declaration, Bylaws, Plat, and other recorded documents, along with Rules and Regulations adopted by the board. We will also answer up to 15 specific questions the association has with regard to its documents. This review is recommended prior to the board considering any substantial revision of the governing documents, and--at a minimum--should be conducted every ten years, just to ensure compliance with changes in the law. This product is generally in excess of 20 pages and requires all of the aforementioned documents.