By: T.J. Budge
The Idaho Legislature recently made two important changes in Idaho law affecting homeowner’s associations (HOAs). The changes came by way of amendments to Idaho Code § 55-115. Subsections (3) and (4) were added during the 2016 Legislative Session and took effect on July 1, 2016.
Subsection (3) prohibits HOAs from amending their covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) to limit or prohibit the rental of property within the subdivision unless the homeowners agree to the amendment in writing. This amendment was a response to a recent Idaho Supreme Court Decision, Adams v. Kimberley One Townhouse Owner’s Association, 158 Idaho 770 (2015). In that case, a homeowner purchased a townhouse subject to CC&Rs that did not restrict an owner’s ability to rent his/her unit. Subsequently, the HOA amended the CC&Rs to prohibit rentals for less than six months. The homeowner argued that the amendment unlawfully restrained the free use of his property. The Idaho Supreme Court disagreed, upholding the rental restriction added to the CC&Rs.
The 2016 amendment to Idaho Code § 55-115 allows HOAs to impose rental restrictions in their CC&Rs, but they are only valid if the homeowners agree to the amendment in writing. In other words, a vote of the Board of Directors of the HOA or the homeowners is insufficient alone to restrict rentals. Rather, each homeowner would need to also sign a document agreeing to the amendment. By contrast, for CC&Rs that already contain a rental restriction, the restriction is enforceable against any homeowner who purchased their property after the restriction was added to the CC&Rs.
In addition, the Legislature added Subsection (4) which requires HOAs to follow certain voting and notice requirements before assessing or collecting attorney fees incurred by the HOA as a result of the violation of the CC&Rs by a homeowner. These same procedures must be followed before an HOA can impose a monetary fine on a member for violating the CC&Rs.
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