We are often asked if an owner can be prevented from voting when the association declaration or bylaws state that an owner who is not in good standing may not vote or that their vote will not be counted. Most board members and managers think this means that an owner who is delinquent in his payment of assessments cannot vote. Without further definition in the documents this is a correct interpretation. Some people think that it also means that if an owner has been found in violation of the covenants or rules and has not cured the violation or paid a charge made after a due process hearing that the owner cannot vote. Unless the documents specifically provide for such we believe that “not in good standing” is limited to delinquency in the payment of assessments.
We have been approached in the past to draft amendments to add such provisions to a declaration. This can be done upon a vote of the owners to amend the declaration in the normal manner. We believe that the definition of “not in good standing” should be limited to: (1) delinquency in the payment of assessments exceeding 30 days from the due date or (2) failure to pay a charge assessed for a violation which was imposed after a due process hearing and such amount has been due for more than 30 days. It is not necessary for a document provision to also include item (2) but that is an option.
When deciding to attempt to add this document provision keep in mind that this is a denial of a significant owner right and should be considered carefully. If you want our help in crafting such an amendment to your documents we would be pleased to be of assistance.