Condo Media - December 2020 - 29

Maine

T

The Maine LAC (MELAC) is discussing

a problem arising from a state statute
that allows cities and towns to draft
ordinances requiring condominium associations in time share communities to
collect real estate taxes from owners.
The rationale for the legislation, KatzLeavy explains, is that there could be
several thousand owners in a large time
share development, and it would be easier for the association to identify, send tax
bills, and collect payments from them.
The problem, he says, is that collecting
taxes is a government responsibility
that municipalities are shifting inappropriately to community associations,
creating a costly administrative burden
for them. Because only a few associations in Maine are affected, the MELAC
doesn't view this as a life-or-death issue
for condominiums, Katz-Leavy says. " But
it is unusual and a bit unfair, " he adds,

Collecting taxes is a government responsibility that
municipalities are shifting inappropriately to community
associations, creating a costly administrative burden for them.
and committee members are discussing
whether the MELAC should pursue it.
The MELAC will definitely be
seeking legislation authorizing virtual
meetings and on-line balloting for community associations. The two statutes
governing condominiums - the Maine
condominium statute and the nonprofit
corporation's statute - both allow boards
to conduct their meetings remotely, but
neither statute allows owners to attend
virtual meetings or to cast electronic
ballots. Many of the associations
that conducted annual meetings
remotely and allowed owners to vote
electronically during the pandemic

lacked the authority in their governing documents to do so, Katz-Leavy
says. Those associations may not have
met the technical requirements for
establishing a quorum, he explains,
and their actions might be challenged
as a result. " I'm not sure what a court
would do, or what remedy, if any, it
might order, " Katz-Leavy says.
But amendments to the condo act,
the nonprofit corporation statute,
or both, specifically authorizing remote
participation for condo owners, would
clean up these potential " technical
problems, " he suggests.

New Hampshire

E

" Every year, I say the legislature can't
possibly focus on condominiums forever and every year, I prove that I'm no
psychic, " Daddario, the chair of the New
Hampshire LAC (NHLAC), observes.
This year was no exception. Despite their
preoccupation with COVID, legislators
considered three significant condominium measures. None were enacted, but all
drew opposition from the NHLAC.
One would allow condominium owners
to install solar energy systems virtually
anywhere in the community, including in
common areas controlled by community
associations. Testifying against the bill,
Daddario notes its introductory language
stating, " Notwithstanding what the
governing documents say. " Whenever a
law includes that phrase, Daddario told
lawmakers, " I worry about where it is
going. " That concern was justified with
this measure, he says, because it would
have allowed a simple majority vote of
owners attending a meeting to override
the association's authority to enforce architectural standards in the community.
The legislature's Commerce Committee
ultimately agreed, issuing a " not to pass "
recommendation for the measure.

" We were very happy about that, "
Daddario says.
The NHLAC also expressed
concerns about a measure
that would require fidelity
insurance for association
board members, property
managers and employees.
" We didn't oppose the insurance requirement, " Daddario
emphasizes. But the bill established a minimum coverage requirement equaling 25 percent of an association's annual assessments, and that
was problematic, Daddario says, " because if there's a minimum requirement,
that's what people do. " As a result, he
explains, the legislation would have the
" odd, unintended effect, " of encouraging
associations with insurance coverage
above the minimum to reduce it, leaving
many with less insurance than they need.
Those arguments apparently resonated
with the committee, which voted to
table the measure, effectively killing it.
Had the bill advanced, Daddario says,
" we wouldn't have opposed it, but
we would have argued for a much
higher minimum. "

With the New Hampshire legislative
session nearing an end in October,
the NHLAC was beginning to think
about its agenda for next year, which,
Daddario says, " will definitely include
our [perennial] foreclosure bill, " allowing condominium associations to
foreclose, if necessary, to collect
delinquent payments from owners.
The legislature's procedural rules
prohibit introducing a failed bill in
consecutive sessions, so this was an
off year, Daddario adds. But next year,
" it will be time to try again. "
December 2020 CONDOMEDIA

29



Condo Media - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - December 2020

Condo Media - December 2020 - Cover1
Condo Media - December 2020 - Cover2
Condo Media - December 2020 - 1
Condo Media - December 2020 - 2
Condo Media - December 2020 - 3
Condo Media - December 2020 - 4
Condo Media - December 2020 - 5
Condo Media - December 2020 - 6
Condo Media - December 2020 - 7
Condo Media - December 2020 - 8
Condo Media - December 2020 - 9
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Condo Media - December 2020 - 11
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Condo Media - December 2020 - 38
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Condo Media - December 2020 - 45
Condo Media - December 2020 - 46
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Condo Media - December 2020 - 48
Condo Media - December 2020 - Cover3
Condo Media - December 2020 - Cover4
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