This was an active session for community association legislation. Several bills were proposed but only three bills made it through the gauntlet. SB 90 has significant amendments to both the Condominium Ownership Act and the Community Association Act. It also incorporates SB 64 (completely substituted version). Careful attention will need to be paid to SB 90 because most of the new laws have a delayed implementation date. While some of the new laws go into effect on May 14, 2013, most of the new laws in SB 90 go into effect on July 1, 2014. The important section that goes into effect immediately is the insurance section update applicable to all community associations. Most of these are technical updates that will not have much effect on current operations, but mixed use condominium projects (projects with commercial and residential units) and commercial condominium projects will need to pay careful attention to this bill because it substantially changes the application of the insurance laws. HB 101 softens the effect of the failure to properly register associations by allowing associations to avoid the effects of the failure to properly register under some circumstances. For complete text of the new laws with highlighting explaining which sections have delayed implementation in SB 90, refer to the "Resources" page on this website.
Quinn Sperry has written a comprehensive article explaining both the reasons behind amending and options for amending CC&Rs. Check out the article at: http://uccai.net/blog-post/legal/amending-ccrs/
Under tremendous pressure from homeowners, board members, and industry participants, the sponsor of SB64 relented and adopted a complete substitution of the language in SB64 drafted entirely by members of the CAI Legislative Action Committee. The bill is back on the senate calendar and we now hope it passes! Thank you to everyone who contacted their legislators and derailed what could have been one of the worst bills for community associations to ever pass in Utah.
John Morris, Tanner Blackburn of Property Management Systems, and others sat on a panel discussing bidding community association services. The event was well-attended and the facilities and food at Stonebridge golf club were excellent. A good time was had by all.
John Morris appeared with other members of the Utah Community Association Institute Legislative Action Committee (CAI LAC) at the capitol on Thursday, February 14, 2013. SB 64 was introduced in a committee hearing. The CAI LAC opposes this bill and John Morris, along with two other members of the CAI LAC, testified against the bill. SB 64's purpose is to unnecessarily punish associations that have not yet complied with reserve requirements already existing in Utah law. Even more problematic, this bill would punish associations by creating a legal trap that could be used to invalidate special assessments for much needed repair projects or delay repair projects. SB 64 would also define "special assessment" in the statute differently than in existing governing documents, leading to confusion and legal expense for associations as they try to figure out what this definition means for them. This bill is a nightmare for associations, managers, developers, and builders. On behalf of the community association industry, John Morris is working tirelessly to prevent this bill from becoming law or to see it modified to eliminate all of its problems.
John Morris gave a presentation on a new mediation program that he has been working on and that is to be proposed to the Chapter. He was also presented with a plaque honoring his three years of service as the Chair of the Legislative Action Committee.
John Morris and Quinn Sperry attended the CAI National Law Conference in Tucson Arizona. This conference is the largest conference in the United States focusing exclusively on community association law and issues. The attorneys at Morris Sperry continue to update their knowledge and training and to network with lawyers around the country, all in an effort to continue to provide the best service and value to their clients.
Morris Sperry commits to a Diamond Sponsorship (the highest sponsorship level available) of the Local CAI Chapter in furtherance of the firm's long-term commitment to the industry. Morris Sperry is proud to assist the local chapter through both sponsorship and volunteer time. The Chapter provides educational opportunities for owners and board members and a forum for attorneys and other vendors in the industry to talk, test ideas, and generally work for the advancement of the expertise and sophistication of the industry. Morris Sperry is pleased to provide the critical support needed to accomplish these goals.
Morris Sperry is pleased to announce that John Morris has been selected by his peers for inclusion in Utah Business magazine's 2013 Utah Legal Elite™. Utah Business magazine surveyed thousands of Utah State Bar members and asked them to nominate attorneys they deemed above and beyond in Utah and whose legal services they would recommend to others. John Morris is honored to be selected for inclusion.