Per the Uniform Law Commission’s web site, the Uniform Law Commission (ULC, also known as the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws), established in 1892, provides states with non-partisan, well-conceived and well-drafted legislation that brings clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law.
There are Uniform Acts on the topic of community associations – the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act (UCIOA) and its predecessors, the Uniform Condominium Act (UCA) and the Uniform Planned Community Act (UPCA). The UCIOA is indeed a well-conceived and well-drafted piece of legislation was developed and updated with the engagement of a wide range of stakeholders including, real estate attorneys from all areas of the practice, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, U.S. Department of Housing, U.S. Department of Treasurer, National Association of Homebuilders, National Association of Realtors, American Bankers Association, American Land Title Association, Community Associations Institute, Urban Land Institute and others.
While these uniform acts exist, they don’t become law until they are adopted (enacted) by the state legislature. Further, unless the uniform act is adopted in nearly its entirety, it doesn’t count as being enacted as the uniform act. The Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act is 116 pages of 1.5 spaced 12 point type. The act contains provisions for the formation, management, and termination of any common interest community, including condominiums, planned communities, and real estate cooperatives.
Unfortunately, state legislators struggle with adoption of the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act. My guess is the sheer volume of the Act is overwhelming for state legislators. The majority of state legislatures are part-time and could meet for as short as 30 days. Many legislatures meet for 60-90-120 or 180 days. Legislators hear hundreds of bills and need to make decisions on many issues facing their states; including important issues related to health care, housing, social services, the opioid crisis, infrastructure development, transportation, and more. Legislators simply don’t have the time to spend educating themselves on the topic and vetting a 116-page Act for common interest communities. What happens instead is legislators fix a problem with patchwork legislation instead of comprehensive, well-vetted legislation.
CAI is an advocate for the Uniform Act – in its entirety or piece by piece to address issues related to community association public policy. Here is a link to the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act. Feel free to share it with your legislator.
Dawn Bauman, CAE
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