38 CFR 36.4362 - Rights and restrictions.

§ 36.4362 Rights and restrictions.

(a)Declarant's rights and restrictions -

(1)Disclosure and reasonableness of reserved rights. Any right reserved by the declarant must be reasonable and set forth in the declaration.

(2)Examples of reserved rights of declarant, sponsor, or affiliate of declarant which are usually unacceptable. Binding the owners' association either directly or indirectly to any of the following agreements is not acceptable unless the owners' association shall have a right of termination thereof which is exercisable without penalty at any time after transfer of control, upon not more than 90 days' notice to the other party thereto:

(i) Any management contract, employment contract or lease of recreational or parking areas or facilities.

(ii) Any contract or lease, including franchises and licenses, to which a declarant is a party.

(iii) The requirements of paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section do not apply to acceptable ground leases.

(3)Examples of reserved rights which are usually acceptable. The following rights in the common elements may usually be reserved by the declarant for a reasonable period of time, subject to a concomitant obligation to restore:

(i) Easement over and upon the common elements and upon lands appurtenant to the condominium for the purpose of completing improvements for which provision is made in the declaration, but only if access thereto is otherwise not reasonably available.

(ii) Easement over and upon the common elements for the purpose of making repairs required pursuant to the declaration or contracts of sale made with unit purchasers.

(iii) Right to maintain facilities in the common areas which are identified in the declaration and which are reasonably necessary to market the units. These may include sales and management offices, model units, parking areas, and advertising signs.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3704(c)(1), 3710(a)(6))

(b)Owners' association's rights and restrictions -

(1)Right of entry upon units and limited common elements. The owners' association shall be granted a right of entry upon unit premises and any limited common elements to effect emergency repairs, and a reasonable right of entry thereupon to effect other repairs, improvements, replacement or maintenance as necessary.

(2)Power to grant rights and restrictions in common elements. The owners' association should be granted other rights, such as the right to grant utility easements under, through or over the common elements, which are reasonably necessary to the ongoing development and operation of the project.

(3)Responsibility for damage to common elements and units. A provision may be made in the declaration or bylaws for allocation of responsibility for damages resulting from the exercise of any of the above rights.

(4)Assessments -

(i)Levy and collection. The declaration or its equivalent shall describe the authority of the owners' association to levy and enforce the collection of general and special assessments for common expenses and shall describe adequate remedies for failure to pay such common expenses. The common expenses assessed against any unit, with interest, late charges, costs and a reasonable attorney's fee shall be a lien upon such unit in accordance with applicable law. Each such assessment, together with interest, late charges, costs, and attorney's fee, shall also be the personal obligation of the person who was the owner of such unit at the time the assessment fell due. The personal obligation for delinquent assessments shall not pass to successors in title or interest unless assumed by them, or required by applicable law. Common expenses as used in this subdivision shall mean expenditures made or liabilities incurred by or on behalf of the owners' association, together with any assessments for the creation and maintenance of reserves.

(ii)Reserves and working capital. There shall be in new or proposed condominium projects (including conversions) a provision for an adequate reserve fund for the periodic maintenance, repair and replacement of the common elements, which fund shall be maintained out of regular assessments for common expenses. Additionally, a working capital fund must be established for the initial months of the project operations equal to at least a 2 months' estimated common area charge for each unit.

(iii)Priority of lien. Any assessment lien must be subordinate to any Department of Veterans Affairs guaranteed mortgage except as provided in § 36.4356. A lien for common expense charges and assessments shall not be affected by any sale or transfer of a unit except that a sale or transfer pursuant to a foreclosure of a first mortgage shall extinguish a subordinate lien for common expense charges and assessments which became payable prior to such sale or transfer. Any such sale or transfer pursuant to a foreclosure shall not relieve the purchaser or transferee of a unit from liability for, nor the unit so sold or transferred from the lien of, any common expense charges thereafter becoming due.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3703(c)(1), (d)(3), 3710(a)(6))

(c)Unit owners' rights and restrictions -

(1)Obligation to pay expenses. The declaration or equivalent document shall establish a duty on each unit owner, including the declarant, to pay a proportionate share of common expenses upon being assessed therefor by the owners' association. Such share may be allocated equally to each unit, may be proportionate to that unit's common element interest, relative size or value, or may be allocated according to any other specified criteria provided that the method chosen is equitable and reasonable for that condominium.

(2)Voting rights. The declaration or equivalent document shall allocate a portion of the votes in the association to each unit. Such portion may be allocated equally to each unit, may be proportionate to that unit's common expense liability, common element interest, relative size or value, or may be allocated according to any other specified criteria provided that the method is equitable and reasonable for that condominium. The declaration may provide different criteria for allocations of votes to the units on particular specified matters and may also provide different percentages of required unit owner approvals for such particular specified matters.

(3)Ingress and egress of unit owners. There may not be any restriction upon any unit owner's right of ingress and egress to his or her unit.

(4)Encroachments -

(i)Easements for encroachments. In the event any portion of the common elements encroaches upon any unit or any unit encroaches upon the common elements or another unit as a result of the construction, reconstruction, repair, shifting, settlement, or movement of any portion of the improvements, a valid easement for the encroachment and for the maintenance of the same shall exist so long as the encroachment exists. The declaration may provide, however, reasonable limits on the extent of any easement created by the overlap of units, common elements, and limited common elements resulting from such encroachments; or

(ii)Monuments as boundaries. If permitted by the governing law within the jurisdiction where the project is located, the existing physical boundaries of a unit or a common element or the physical boundaries of a unit or a common element reconstructed in substantial accordance with the original plats and plans thereof become its boundaries rather than the metes and bounds expressed in the deed, plat or plan, regardless of settling or lateral movement of the building, or minor variance between boundaries shown on the plats, plans or in the deed and those of the building. The declaration should provide reasonable limits on the extent of any such revised boundary(ies) created by the overlap of units, common elements, and limited common elements resulting from such encroachments.

(5)Right of first refusal. The right of a unit owner to sell, transfer, or otherwise convey his or her unit in a condominium shall not be subject to any right of first refusal or similar restriction if the declaration or similar document is recorded on or after December 1, 1976. If the declaration was recorded prior to December 1, 1976, the right of first refusal must comply with § 36.4354(b)(5)(ii); Provided, however, restrictions on the basis of age or restrictions established by a State, Territorial, or local government agency as part of a program for providing assistance to low- and moderate-income purchasers shall be governed by § 36.4354(b)(5)(iv).

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3703(c))

(6)Leasing restrictions. Except as provided in this paragraph, there shall be no prohibition or restriction on a condominium unit owner's right to lease his or her unit. The following restrictions are acceptable:

(i) A requirement that leases have a minimum initial term of up to 1 year; or

(ii) Age restrictions or restrictions imposed by State or local housing authorities which are allowable under § 36.4309(e) or § 36.4354(b)(5)(iv).

(d)Rights of action. The owners' association and any aggrieved unit owner should be granted a right of action against unit owners for failure to comply with the provisions of the declaration, bylaws, or equivalent documents, or with decisions of the owners' association which are made pursuant to authority granted the owners' association in such documents. Unit owners should have similar rights of action against the owners' association.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3703(c)(1), 3710(a)(6))
[ 73 FR 6310, Feb. 1, 2008. Redesignated at 75 FR 33705, June 15, 2010, as amended at 80 FR 34319, June 16, 2015]

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