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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

Key words defined in hovercards, powerful search, comments, footnotes, tags, explanations and case law summaries

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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

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 an association from restricting the construction or rental 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 and 57-8a-218.

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 April 29, 2021.  Utah statutes current through 2021 general session.

Index

Downloads & Guides

For Boards For Owners

Latest Q & A's

Articles

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).

Statutes to be Aware of

Every board member and manager should know that certain laws exist.  It isn't necessary to know what the law says regarding everything, but there are key statutes every board member and manager should generally be aware of.  They include, in my opinion, the following . . .

Primer for Board Members

New board members naturally have many questions about what their duties are and what authority they have.  This primer is a brief, concise introduction to many fundamental concepts of association governance, operation and management every board member should ...


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