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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: December 13, 2012 10:39 AM
From: Representative Bernie O'Neill
To: All House members
Subject: Sunshine Act - Homeowner's Association (Previous HB 419)
I plan to re-introduce legislation that will require homeowners’ association officers to follow certain open meeting procedures when announcing and conducting association meetings. Additionally, the bill will require association officers to make association records available to their member homeowners for inspection and copying within reasonable time frames.

The procedures established in my legislation mirror provisions of our Sunshine Act and our Right-to-Know Law. I believe that homeowners in planned communities should have ready access to timely information regarding the conduct of business by their homeowners’ association, because the activities and decisions of such associations can have a direct and substantial impact on the lives of homeowners.

Briefly, my proposal would require homeowner association bylaws to include provisions that require:

  • Meetings of associations and association executive boards, committees and commissions to be open to all unit owners.
  • The executive board and/or officers of an association to provide notice of any upcoming association meeting.
  • The posting of meeting notices at the main entrance of a planned community or at a central location within the community.

An association is to take official action only at open meetings, with exceptions. These exceptions include personnel matters, discussions regarding the purchase of real estate up to the time that an option to purchase the real estate is obtained and discussions with attorneys or advisors regarding litigation or complaints.

Also, my proposal requires homeowners’ associations to make all association records accessible for inspection and duplication by a unit owner. The proposal establishes time limits for association responses to record requests and creates a complaint process for situations in which a record request is denied. I should also note that the legislation will require a homeowners’ association to redact personal and proprietary information from any association record that it releases.

I should make it clear that my legislation subjects homeowners’ associations to open meeting and open record requirements in relation to the residents of its community. It does not impose any duty on an association to communicate with and/or open its meetings or records to the general public.

I believe that it is time for all homeowners in planned communities to be treated fairly. This legislation will ensure that the bylaws of each homeowner’s association include basic open meeting provisions.

If you have any questions on this legislation, please contact Connie McClure in my Harrisburg office at 705-7170 or by e-mailing cmcclure@pahousegop.com.

Thank you for your consideration and support of this very important piece of legislation.

Introduced as HB319