J.D. from Carroll County, New Hampshire writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I own home in POA/HOA. 400+homes, 200 lots, 60 docks/slips. Board has recently changed “member” to mean slips can be handed down thru generations locking out newer owners from ever having access to community property.
Mister Condo replies:
J.D., I imagine 60 boat slips for more than 400 homeowners makes for a very competitive boat slip acquisition process. The Board may have had the power to make the change they did but only the association’s governance documents can answer that question. If the boat slips are addressed, the rules for the boat slip distribution and use should be followed. Next up is the voting requirement for changing the documents. It is not uncommon for entire membership votes to be required to change the documents. It could require a simple majority or it could require a supermajority of owners to vote in favor of a document change such as you have suggested. If not, the Board may have been well within their right to hold the vote and change the rule. Either way, you will need to review what your documents say about the distribution of the boat slips and/or the modification of the documents. If all else fails, and there are enough owners who feel as you do that this new rule change is unfair, you can always vote the Board out at your next election and replace them with owners who will vote to put the rules back to the way they were. Democracy in action at your HOA! Good luck!