J.H. from Washington, D.C. writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
My HOA has voted in favor of the following rule – how do I formalize the amendment to the bylaws? New rule implementation – As of 9/15/20, the Grey HOA requires professional dryer vent cleanings once every 3 years. XYZ Association will negotiate a price and arrange dryer vent cleaning on behalf of all HOA members. Each homeowner is required to individually pay for the actual vent cleaning of the vent work for their home and will be billed by the vendor.
Mister Condo replies:
J.H., congratulations on taking a stand for safety and requiring dryer vent cleaning. Dryer vent fires are a leading cause of death and damage. This program should certainly help minimize the risk of lint-filled dryer vents. When you say your HOA has voted in favor, are you referring to the Board of the HOA or the membership of the HOA. There can be a big difference when it comes to formally amending the by-laws. If you haven’t already done so, now would be a great time to seek the advice of the association’s attorney. Not only do you need to follow your own rules for adding an amendment, you also need to make sure that you are following any local, state, and/or federal laws. A lawyer’s advice and counsel here can be priceless. While I do not promote specific lawyers or law firms in my column, I will tell you I recently read a very good article on the subject at https://www.kasslegalgroup.com/articles/amending-your-association-legal-documents/. This is a Washington, D.C. law firm that specializes in community association law. Even if you don’t use them, this article should help you understand the process better. Good luck!