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Key Concepts explained

The index is the main hub of the site, where key concepts are explained

The 6 resolutions & 5 forms every HOA should have

Procedures required by law, updated as the laws change yearly, so your HOA is always in compliance. Plus other policy resolutions
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Step-by-Step Guides

Guides to walk board through owner requests for: records, assistance animal (disability), satellite dish, solar device. Avoid violating federal and Utah law!
Guides to walk a homeowner through making request for records and to keep an assistance animal for a person with a disability.

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Q & A

Have questions about a statute? Ask it and an experienced HOA attorney will answer it. Plus, see all the other Q & A.

Legal Updates

Stay informed! Get updates of new HOA laws with explanations of how they affect your community and what to do to comply and minimize risk.

Tools to help you understand the law

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Laws

All HOAs

Utah Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act - Utah Code, Title 16, Chapter 6a (applies to all HOAs - both condo and non-condo - that are incorporated as nonprofit corporations) Utah HOA Case Law (with case summaries)

Other Utah Statutes Relevant to HOAs


Contractors, Hiring - Utah Code § 58-55-501 (is illegal to hire unlicensed person to perform work, unless person not required to be licensed.)Interest on Contracts and Judgments - Utah Code Title 15, Chapter 1 (contract may use any interest rate, default is 10%/annum)Nuisance - Utah Code Title 78B, Chapter 6, Part 11 (tobacco smoke, etc.)Service Contracts Act - Utah Code Title 15, Chapter 10 (requirements for automatically renewing contracts (e.g., year after year)Statutes, Construction of - Utah Code Title 68, Chapter 3 (rules for interpreting Utah statutes; definitions) Transfer Fee Covenants, Reinvestment Fee Covenants - Utah Code § 57-1-46 (to charge a fee on title transfer, a notice must be recorded separately from CC&Rs; exceptions required)
Common Area Parcels on a Plat - Utah Code § 10-9a-606 (conveyance of common area independent of other lots/units is subject to limitations.)Defective Construction - Utah Code § 78B-4-513 (limits on claims for construction defects) Discriminatory housing practices regarding real estate -- Existing real property contract provisions. - Utah Code § 57-21-6.1 (Discriminatory CC&R provisions are void, may not be enforced, and may be amended without vote) Fire Code - BBQs on balconies - Utah Code Title 15A, Chapter 5 (No open-flame cooking devices on a balcony or within 10 feet of a building; exceptions.)Limitations on Landowner Liability - Utah Code Title 57, Chapter 14 (liability relating to recreational use; inherent risks of certain activities.)Public Use Constituting Dedication of Private Road - Utah Code § 72-5-104 (private road deemed dedicated to public when continuously used as public thoroughfare for 10 years.) Rights and Privileges of an Individual with a Disability - Utah Code Title 62A, Chapter 5b (lying about assistance animal is a crime.) Tow Truck Provisions - Utah Code Title 72, Chapter 9, Part 6 (required signage for towing in HOA.)

Federal Laws Applicable to All HOAs


Fair Housing Act

(discrimination; assistance animals) (applies to all associations)

Summary of Fair Housing Act (Federal) Reasonable Modifications under the Fair Housing Act - Q & A Reasonable Accommodations under the Fair Housing Act - Q & A Evaluating a Request for Assistance Animal
Over the Air Reception Devices (OTARD)

(satellite dishes) (applies to all associations)

OTARD Summary and Q & AOTARD 47 CFR § 1.4000 (FCC Rule)

Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA)

(applies to "55 & older" communities) (allows a 55 & older community to have restrictions that would otherwise be discriminatory)

Legislation

2023

The 2023 general session of the Utah Legislature was January - March 2023, and the general effective date for legislation from the session is May 3, 2023.

Records

Senate Bill 191 (2023) clarifies the Nonprofit Act regarding which records an owner is entitled to see if the owner follows the process specified in Subsection 16-6a-1602(2).  The statute now specifies that the records that may be viewed after following that particular process are the "other records" listed in Utah Code Subsections 16-6a-1601(2) through (5), namely: "appropriate" accounting records and a membership list with the names and addresses of all members in alphabetical order and showing the number of votes of each member. A different process is required for certain other records and other records must be available on the HOA's website (or office). (Since Subsection 16-6a-1602(1) specifies the process to view the records listed in Subsection 16-6a-1601(5), the process specified in Subsection 16-6a-1602(2) only applies to the records listed in 16-6a-1601(2) through (4), which, again are "appropriate" accounting records and the membership list).  

The bill also defines the term "corporate records" in the definitions section of the Utah Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act, to mean the records described in Section 16-6a-1601, and to exclude "correspondence, communications, notes, or other similar information, regardless of format or method of storage, that are not an official decision, published document, or record of the corporation."  However, the Nonprofit Act never uses the term "corporate records" in any substantive way, so the definition has limited usefulness, if any at all.  See Utah Code Section 16-6a-102(13).

Rental Restrictions

The law prohibits a condo and community association from requiring an owner who rents out their home to pay an additional assessment or fee because the home is a rental.  Senate Bill 191 (2023) amends the statute to provide that an association that permits at least 35% of the units in the association to be rental units may charge an owner who rents their unit an annual fee of up to $200 to defray the association's additional administrative expenses directly related to that rental unit, as detailed in an accounting provided to the owner.  See Utah Code Sections 57-8a-209(9)(c) and 57-8-10.1(9)(c).

Board Member Qualifications, Sex Offenders

Senate Bill 191 (2023) amends the law to provide that an association may, through governing documents or the board's internal procedures, disqualify an individual from serving as a director because the individual has either been convicted of a felony or is required to register with the sex offender registry due to a conviction for an offense committed against a person under 18 (a.k.a. a "sex offender").  See Utah Code Sections 57-8a-501 and 57-8-59.

The bill further provides that an association rule may restrict an adult or juvenile who is required to register with the sex offender registry due to a conviction for an offense committed against a person under 18 (a.k.a. a "sex offender") from accessing a swimming pool, park or playground that is maintained, operated, or owned by the association (a "protected area"), except an association cannot restrict such access when that person must be in a protected area to perform their parental responsibilities.  See Utah Code Sections 57-8a-218(18) and 57-8-8.1(10).

Definition of "Political Sign"

The law contains restrictions against association rules restricting political signs, except reasonable regulations on the time, place, and manner of posting a political sign.  But, the law never defined what constituted a political sign.  Senate Bill 191 (2023) defines a "political sign" to mean "any sign or document that advocates: (1) the election or defeat of a candidate for public office, or (2) the approval or defeat of a ballot proposition."  See the new definitions in Utah Code Sections 57-8a-102(25) and 57-8-3(34).  See the restrictions against rules governing political signs in Utah Code Sections 57-8a-218(4) and 57-8-8.1(8).

Community Associations Only

Water-efficient Landscaping

Under Senate Bill 191 (2023), community associations must adopt required rules regarding water efficient landscaping before June 30, 2023.  The requirement for associations to adopt rules supporting water-efficient landscaping, including allowance for low water use on lawns during drought conditions, was made law in 2022.  This new law requires those rules to be adopted by June 30, 3023.  Additionally, the bill explicitly provides that a rule may not prohibit low water use on lawns during drought conditions.  See New 2022 HOA Laws and What They Mean For Your HOA.  See also Utah Code Sections 57-8a-218(16) and 57-8-8.1(9).

House Bill 450 (2023) modifies Utah Code Section 57-8a-231 in the Community Association Act, which was enacted last year and states that an association may not enforce a governing document that prohibits a lot owner of a detached home (aka single family home) from incorporating water wise landscaping on the owner's lot, except in certain instances.  The bill clarifies that an association may restrict or prohibit the use of specific plant materials other than water wise plant materials (as defined in the statute).  Additionally, the provision in the statute that said an association could adopt a requirement that imposes minimum or maximum vegetative coverage was deleted.  Now the statute says an association may not require an owner to have more than 50% vegetative coverage that is not water wise landscaping on the owner's lot.

Rules

The law that's been in place for several years in Utah Code Section 57-8a-217 requires that before a board in a community association adopts or amends a rule, the board must: (1) deliver notice to the owners that the board is considering a change to a rule, (2) provide an open forum at the board meeting giving owners an opportunity to be heard at the board meeting before the board adopts or amends a rule, and (3) deliver a copy of the change in the rules within 15 days after the date of the board meeting.

Senate Bill 152 (2023) amends the law to say that if a board fails to do any of those things, a lawsuit must be brought within 18 months in order to challenge the board action.  See Subsection 57-8a-217(7).

Definition of "Rule"

Both the Condo and Community Association Acts have long had provisions governing "rules" in an association but neither act ever defined what constitutes a rule (other than that a rule is adopted by a board and the provisions of CC&Rs and bylaws are not rules).

Senate Bill 191 (2023) defines "rule" for Community Associations (but, strangely, not for Condos):

"Rule" means a policy, guideline, restriction, procedure, or regulation of an association that:
(1) is not set forth in a contract, easement, article of incorporation, bylaw, or declaration; and
(2) governs the conduct of persons, or the use, quality, type, design, or appearance of real property or personal property.
 "Rule" does not include the internal business operating procedures of a board.

See Utah Code Section 57-8a-102(25).

Applicability of the Community Association Act

To avoid any confusion and curtail any argument that the Community Association Act doesn't apply to a given association just because the association was formed before a certain provision of the act was enacted, Senate Bill 152 (2023) amends the law to provide that the act applies to an association that registers or updates the association's registration with the Utah HOA Registry.  Of course, registering and updating an association's registration with the HOA Registry is required by the law.  See Utah Code Section 57-8a-105(7).

2022

The 2022 general session of the Utah Legislature was January - March 2022, and the general effective date for legislation from the session is May 4, 2022. 

Electric Vehicle Charging Systems

Senate Bill 152 (2022) added new statutes to both the Condo Act and Community Association Act that provide:

  • an association may not prohibit an owner from installing or using an electric vehicle charging system in a parking space on the owner's lot or in a limited common area parking space designated for the owner's exclusive use;
  • an association may (1) require the owner to obtain approval before installing a charging system; (2) require that an electrical contractor install the charger, or if installed on common area, require the owner to reimburse the association for any increase in the insurance premium caused by the installation of the charger; (3) require the system to comply with the association's design criteria and other restrictions if they do not significantly increase the cost of or decrease the efficiency or performance of the charging station; and (4) require the owner to pay the costs of installation, metering, and use of the system, including the costs of electricity and damage to common area.

See Utah Code Section 57-8a-801 and 802 and Section 57-8-8.2.

Water-efficient Landscaping

Senate Bill 152 (2022) requires an association to adopt rules supporting water-efficient landscaping, including allowance for low water use on lawns during drought conditions and prohibits an association from restricting the conversion of a grass park strip to water-efficient landscaping.  See Utah Code Sections 57-8a-218(16) and 57-8-8.1(9).

House Bill 282 enacts a new section of the Community Association Act, Utah Code Section 57-8a-231.  An association may not prohibit an owner of a lot with a detached dwelling (aka single family home) from incorporating water wise landscaping on the owner's lot.  "Water wise landscaping" means any of the following: (1) installation of plant materials suited to the microclimate and soil conditions that can remain healthy with minimal irrigation once established or be maintained without the use of sprinklers, (2) use of water for outdoor irrigation through proper and efficient irrigation design and water application, or (3) the use of other landscape design features that either minimize the need of the landscape for supplemental water from irrigation or reduce the landscape area dedicated to lawn.

However, an association can require a lot owner to comply with a site plan review process, to maintain plants in a healthy condition, and to follow specific water wise landscaping design requirements adopted by the association, and can restrict the use of mulches considered detrimental to the association's operations, impose minimum or maximum vegetative coverage, and restrict the use of specific plant materials. 

Finally, an association may not require a lot owner to install or keep in place lawn in an area with a width less than eight feet.

Rules

Senate Bill 152 (2022) amends and enacts provisions in Utah Code Sections 57-8a-218 and 57-8-8.1 regarding rules an association may establish regarding an owner's display of a religious or holiday sign, symbol, or decoration the display of a for-sale sign or a campaign sign in a window of the owner's unit; the content or design criteria of a political sign.

Records

Senate Bill 152 (2022) limits the records that owners are entitled to see to just the main records, such as minutes, governing documents, financials, etc.  This is a change from prior law where owners were entitled to view and copy virtually all records of their HOA.  Specifically, an association is required to keep and make available to lot owners a copy of the governing documents, most recent approved minutes, most recent budget and financial statement, most recent reserve analysis, and certificate of insurance for each insurance policy the association holds, plus the records listed in Utah Code Subsections 16-6a-1601(1) through (5).

Additionally, the association must now have all of its governing documents on its website, including the CC&Rs (declaration), articles of incorporation, bylaws, plat and rules.  Previously, just the declaration and bylaws were required to be on the website.  If the association doesn't have a website, then it must make the documents available to lot owners free of charge during regular business hours at the association's address listed with the Utah HOA Registry.  See Utah Code Section 57-8a-227 and Section 57-8-17.

For more detail, see New 2022 HOA Laws and What They Mean For Your HOA.

2021

The 2021 general session of the Utah Legislature was January - March 2021, and the general effective date for legislation from the session is May 5, 2021. 

Reserve Funds

Senate Bill 75 (2021) modified both the Condo Act and Community Association Act to:

  • specifically permit the use of reserve funds to cover a budget shortfall during a declared emergency (such as a pandemic) if more than 10% of the owners are delinquent in payment of assessments as a result of the events giving rise to the state of emergency;
  • require that a reserve fund analysis include an estimate of the annual contribution to a reserve fund that is necessary to prepare for a shortfall in the general budget that the association may use reserve funds to cover; and
  • permit the use of reserve funds to pay for daily maintenance expenses without a majority member vote if there exists in the general budget a shortfall that the association may use reserve funds to cover.  However, members of the association may prohibit the use of reserve fund money for daily maintenance expenses if there is such a shortfall, by a 51% vote of all voting interests at a special meeting called for that purpose and for which each owner receives at least 48 hours notice.  Utah Code Sections 57-8-7.5 and 57-8a-211.

Security Cameras

Senate Bill 31 (2021) prevents an association rule from prohibiting an owner from installing a personal security camera on or near the owner's dwelling unit (note that the new bill does not affect the provisions of CC&Rs).

  • For community associations, an association rule may not prohibit a lot owner from installing a personal security camera immediately adjacent to an entryway, window, or other outside entry point of the owner's dwelling unit.  Utah Code § 57-8a-218(14).
  • For condo associations, a rule may not prohibit a unit owner from installing a security camera immediately adjacent to the entryway, window, or other outside entry point of the owner's unit.  A rule may prohibit a unit owner from installing a security camera in a common area not physically connected to the owner's unit.  Utah Code § 57-8-8.1(6).  Note that a condo association's CC&Rs often prohibit attachment to or drilling into the exterior common area walls of a building and this new law does not affect such CC&R provisions.  The new law only applies to rules adopted by a board, not the recorded CC&Rs.

Discriminatory CC&Rs

House Bill 374 (2021) enacts Utah Code § 57-21-6.1, which:

  • provides that any recorded covenant (such as a CC&R provision) that expresses any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, source of income, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity is void and that enforcement of such a covenant constitutes discrimination;
  • requires a board to investigate a claim that the association's governing documents include such a discriminatory provision within 90 days of an owner's request to remove the provision;
  • allows a condominium or community association to amend the association's governing documents to remove a discriminatory restrictive covenant without any vote or approval of the association members; and
  • prevents a county recorder from charging a fee for recording such an amendment.

Rental of Basement Apartments

House Bill 82 (2021) prevents CC&Rs from restricting the rental, and prevents board-adopted rules from restricting the construction, of a separate, "habitable living unit" created within an owner-occupied, detached dwelling for the purpose of rental for 30 days or longer.  A "habitable living unit" is generally a separate, additional living unit (such as a basement apartment or an apartment over a garage) that includes a kitchen and sleeping and bathroom facilities.  The effective date of the law is October 1, 2021.  Utah Code § 57-8a-209(10) and 57-8a-218(15). 

For more detail, see New 2021 HOA Laws and What They Mean For Your HOA.

2020

Special Session

Utah HOAs can breathe a little easier because associations are now protected generally from lawsuits and claims relating to COVID-19.  A new law went into effect August 18, 2020, that provides immunity from civil liability for damages or an injury resulting from exposure of an individual to COVID-19 on the premises owned or operated by an HOA, or during an activity managed by the HOA. Immunity does not apply if an association purposely does something wrong or is reckless.  Specifically, immunity does not apply "to willful misconduct, reckless infliction of harm, or intentional infliction of harm."  The new law is important because claims relating to communicable diseases and viruses are usually excluded from association insurance policies.

General Session

The 2020 general session of the Utah Legislature was January - March 2020, and the general effective date for new legislation is May 12, 2020.  Two HOA bills were passed this year, House Bill 155 and Senate Bill 183.

  • House Bill 155 (2020) requires a seller of a unit or lot, or the association if requested by the seller, to make certain disclosures before closing on a sale, and requires the Department of Commerce to publish certain educational materials on its website.  The bill enact Sections 57-8-6.1 (in the Condo Act (57-8)) and 57-8a-105.1 (in the Community Association Act (57-8a)), and amends Sections 57-8-13.1 and 57-8a-105.  Specifically, before the closing of a sale of a unit or lot, the seller must provide to the buyer (1) a copy of the association's recorded governing documents, and (2) a link to the Department of Commerce's educational materials.  The association must, upon request by the seller, provide those two things to the seller.  Additionally, if a condo association has a manager, the association may now opt to include the name and address of the manager rather than that of each board member (community associations are not and were never required to include the name and address of each board member).

    The Department of Commerce is required to publish educational materials on its website providing, in simple and easy to understand language, a brief overview of state law governing associations, including: (1) a description of the rights and responsibilities provided in the law to any party under the jurisdiction of an association; and (2) instructions regarding how an association may be organized and dismantled in accordance with the law.
  • Senate Bill 183 (2020), "Nonjudicial Foreclosure Amendments," amends provisions related to nonjudicial foreclosure of a lien on a unit or lot by an association, including establishing limitations on nonjudicial foreclosure.  A nonjudicial foreclosure is a foreclosure without a lawsuit—in the same manner a bank typically forecloses on a home that is in default.

    The bill amends Utah Code Sections 57-8-3 and 57-8-46 (in the Condo Act), and 57-8a-303 (in the Community Association Act), by adding definitions of "judicial foreclosure" and "nonjudicial foreclosure" in the Condo Act to mirror the definitions in the Community Association Act, and by changing the notice that must be sent to a unit or lot owner before an HOA starts a nonjudicial foreclosure.  Additionally, the law now prohibits nonjudicial foreclosure of a unit or lot if the lien includes a fine the association imposed in accordance with Section 57-8-37 "Fines" (condo) or 57-8a-208 "Fines" (for noncondos).

2019

The 2019 general session of the Utah Legislature was January - March 2019, and the general effective date for new legislation was May 14, 2019. 

  • House Bill 43 (2019) modified Utah Code Title 62A, Chapter 5b "Rights and Privileges of an Individual with a Disability."  This chapter makes it a crime to interfere with the exercise of the right of a person with a disability to a service animal and HB 43 added "support animals" (a.k.a., emotional support animals or companion animals) to those protections.  A service animal is specifically a dog that is trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability, and that performs work or tasks that are directly related to the individual's disability (such as a seeing eye dog).  Under the new law, a "support animal" is an animal, other than a service animal, that qualifies as a reasonable accommodation under federal law for an individual with a disability.  A support animal can be any type of animal and does not need any specialized training or certifications.  See also, Index, assistance animals; and Reasonable Accommodations under the Fair Housing Act - Q & A.
  • Title 15, Chapter 1 regarding the default interest rate for contracts and judgments was modified with very small, technical changes.  Those changes have no effect on an HOA generally.  No other changes affecting HOAs were made.
  • Medical Marijuana.  In December, 2018, the Legislature passed House Bill 3001, the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, after Prop 2 was approved by Utah voters in November, 2018.  The Act allows medical marijuana to be ingested by vaping, as well as by pill and similar form, but it does not allow it to be smoked, so the effect for HOAs should be minimal.
Updated May 3, 2023.  Utah statutes current through 2023 general session.

Index

Downloads & Guides

For Boards For Owners

Latest Q & A's

Articles

New 2023 HOA Laws and What They Mean For Your HOA

The Utah general legislative session for 2023 was January - March 2023, and the general effective date for legislation from the session was May 3, 2023.

New 2022 HOA Laws and What They Mean For Your HOA

The Utah general legislative session for 2022 was January - March 2022, and the general effective date for legislation from the session was May 4, 2022.

New 2021 HOA Laws and What They Mean For Your HOA

The Utah general legislative session for 2021 was January - March 2021, and the general effective date for legislation from the session is May 5, 2021 (except that one bill does not go into effect until October 1, 2021).


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