Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean introduced the “Association Homeowners’ Protection Act of 2015,” to empower more than a million New Jersey residents in homeowners’ associations.
“This vital legislation will protect and empower the more than one million New Jersey residents in condominiums, townhouses and single-family homes who each pay several hundred to several thousand dollars per year in homeowners’ association dues,” Kean said. “Too many hardworking, middle-class homeowners have endured costly, time-consuming and stressful conflicts with obstructionist or nontransparent association administrators or management companies, simply because a 22-year-old state law isn’t as strong or clear as it should be.”
Senator Kean’s Association Homeowners’ Protection Act, S-3235, expands and updates New Jersey’s “Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act,” which hasn’t been changed since 1993.
“Without increasing association costs on members, this bill will ensure that member homeowners are granted expedient access to services, records and documents that they need in emergency situations,” Kean said.
The Association Homeowners’ Protection Act:
- Requires homeowners’ associations to provide upon a member’s request — electronically within 24 hours or hardcopy within 48 hours — a copy of homeowners’ association insurance polices, which are typically needed by a member’s personal home insurance company to begin the claims process;
- Requires homeowners’ associations to provide a 24-hour emergency phone number for members, which can be fulfilled via an existing phone line, manager’s mobile line or rotating call forwarding setup;
- Requires homeowners’ associations to provide upon a member’s request — electronically within one business day or hardcopy within two business days — a roster of current association board members; contact information for each current board member, consisting of a private electronic mail address by which a board member can be contacted directly by association members; board election dates and application forms for candidacy; the most-recently adopted annual budget; and insurance information for any policy held by an association, including the name of insurance companies, the name of the broker or provider of the insurance policy, and any applicable policy numbers.
Association Homeowners’ Protection Act would not affect residential home or apartment owners who do not belong to common interest communities. It is not retroactive but the aforementioned new requirements must be adopted by associations the next time they change bylaws or when new bylaws are adopted.
This legislation was inspired, in part, by constituents who hit homeowners’ association roadblocks when they tried to address damage to their properties after June 23 South Jersey storms, which caused more than $15 million in damages and thousands of property insurance claims.
“This legislation makes abundantly clear the duties that association managers must provide their members in a transparent fashion, without question or obstruction,” Kean added. “I’m hopeful that with bipartisan sponsorship and support this bill will be quickly passed.”