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PRIOR PRINTER'S NOS. 2035, 2190
PRINTER'S NO. 3242
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1795
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY R. BROWN, RADER, HELM, M. MACKENZIE, CIRESI AND
GAYDOS, AUGUST 17, 2021
AS AMENDED ON SECOND CONSIDERATION, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
JUNE 14, 2022
AN ACT
Amending Title 68 (Real and Personal Property) of the
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in general provisions
relating to condominiums, further providing for definitions;
in management of the condominium, further providing for
executive board members and officers, for bylaws and for
meetings; in protection of purchasers, further providing for
effect of violations on rights of action; in general
provisions relating to cooperatives, further providing for
definitions; in creation, alteration and termination of
cooperatives, further providing for master associations; in
management of cooperatives, further providing for bylaws and
for meetings; in protection of cooperative interest
purchasers, further providing for effect of violations on
rights of action; in general provisions relating to planned
communities, further providing for definitions; in creation,
alteration and termination of planned communities, further
providing for master associations; AND, in management of
planned community, further providing for bylaws and for
meetings; and, in protection of purchasers, further providing
for effect of violations on rights of action.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 3103 of Title 68 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding definitions to read:
§ 3103. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this subpart and
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in the declaration and bylaws shall have the meanings given to
them in this section unless specifically provided otherwise or
unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
* * *
"Independent reviewer." A person who is selected by the
declarant or a majority of the unit owners of a condominium and
satisfies all of the following:
(1) Holds a certificate issued by the Commonwealth as a
certified public accountant, is licensed to practice law in
this Commonwealth or is a vote management system.
(2) Is not a unit owner, directly or indirectly.
(3) Has no IMMEDIATE family relationship with the
declarant, a unit owner or a condominium manager.
(4) Has no financial interest shared with the declarant,
a unit owner or a condominium manager.
(5) If compensated by the declarant, a director, the
association or a condominium manager, has disclosed the terms
of the compensation to all unit owners AT A SCHEDULED
MEETING .
* * *
"Vote management system." A third-party vendor who operates
a digital or subscription service that securely manages the
conduct of elections and voting procedures.
* * *
Section 2. Section 3303(d) and (e) of Title 68 are amended
and the section is amended by adding a subsection to read:
§ 3303. Executive board members and officers.
* * *
(d) Election of members during transfer of declarant
control.--
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(1) Not later than 60 days after conveyance of 25% of
the units to unit owners other than a declarant, not less
than 25% of the members of the executive board shall be
elected by unit owners other than the declarant.
(2) Not later than 60 days after conveyance of 50% of
the units to unit owners other than a declarant, not less
than 33 1/3% of the members of the executive board shall be
elected by unit owners other than the declarant.
(3) A vote by a unit owner must be submitted by the unit
owner to an independent reviewer who shall tally the results
of the election and certify the results to the declarant, the
executive board and unit owners. IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE TO
VOTE IN THE ELECTION, A UNIT OWNER SHALL BE IN GOOD STANDING
WITH THE ASSOCIATION. IF A THIRD-PARTY VENDOR CONDUCTS THE
ELECTION, THE EXECUTIVE BOARD MAY PRESENT THE OFFICIAL
ELECTION RESULTS BASED ON THE CERTIFIED ELECTION REPORT FROM
THE INDEPENDENT REVIEWER AT A MEETING OF THE UNIT OWNERS AND
SHALL ENTER THE RESULTS IN THE MEETING RECORDS. THE EXECUTIVE
BOARD SHALL ENSURE THAT ALL MAILINGS RELATING TO THE ELECTION
USE THE RETURN ADDRESS OF THE THIRD-PARTY VENDOR THAT
CONDUCTS THE ELECTION. All votes by unit owners under this
paragraph shall be submitted to the independent reviewer in
either an electronic or a paper format. The interchangeable
submission of votes by unit owners in an electronic and a
paper format in the same election shall be prohibited. IF
VOTES ARE SUBMITTED IN AN ELECTRONIC FORMAT, THE ASSOCIATION
SHALL PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS TO A UNIT OWNER WHO
DOES NOT HAVE ACCESS TO ELECTRONIC MEANS TO SUBMIT THE UNIT
OWNER'S VOTE. This paragraph shall only apply to a
condominium with at least 100 units. If a condominium has
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more than 100 units and less than 500 units, the association
may opt out of the requirements under this paragraph by
amending the association's bylaws in accordance with section
3306 (relating to bylaws) A MAJORITY VOTE OF UNIT OWNERS .
(e) Election of members and officers following declarant
control.--
(1) Not later than the termination of any period of
declarant control, the unit owners shall elect an executive
board of at least three members at least a majority of whom
must be unit owners, except that the executive board may
consist of two members, both of whom must be unit owners, if
the condominium consists of two units. The executive board
shall elect the officers. The persons elected shall take
office upon election.
(2) In the event that the election of the executive
board by the unit owners fails to take place not later than
the termination of a period of declarant control as provided
in this section, then a special meeting of the unit owners
may be called for such purpose by any member of the executive
board elected by the unit owners or, if there is no such
member of the executive board, the unit owners entitled to
cast at least 10% of the votes in the association.
(3) A vote by a unit owner must be submitted by the unit
owner to an independent reviewer who shall tally the results
of the election and certify the results to the executive
board and unit owners. IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE IN THE
ELECTION, A UNIT OWNER SHALL BE IN GOOD STANDING WITH THE
ASSOCIATION. IF A THIRD-PARTY VENDOR CONDUCTS THE ELECTION,
THE EXECUTIVE BOARD MAY PRESENT THE OFFICIAL ELECTION RESULTS
BASED ON THE CERTIFIED ELECTION REPORT FROM THE INDEPENDENT
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REVIEWER AT A MEETING OF THE UNIT OWNERS AND SHALL ENTER THE
RESULTS IN THE MEETING RECORDS. THE EXECUTIVE BOARD SHALL
ENSURE THAT ALL MAILINGS RELATING TO THE ELECTION USE THE
RETURN ADDRESS OF THE THIRD-PARTY VENDOR THAT CONDUCTS THE
ELECTION. All votes by unit owners under this paragraph shall
be submitted to the independent reviewer in either an
electronic or a paper format. The interchangeable submission
of votes by unit owners in an electronic and a paper format
in the same election shall be prohibited. IF VOTES ARE
SUBMITTED IN AN ELECTRONIC FORMAT, THE ASSOCIATION SHALL
PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS TO A UNIT OWNER WHO DOES
NOT HAVE ACCESS TO ELECTRONIC MEANS TO SUBMIT THE UNIT
OWNER'S VOTE. This paragraph shall only apply to a
condominium with at least 100 units. If a condominium has
more than 100 units and less than 500 units, the association
may opt out of the requirements under this paragraph by
amending the association's bylaws in accordance with section
3306 BY A MAJORITY VOTE OF UNIT OWNERS .
* * *
(g) Penalties.--A person who attempts to interfere with the
votes or election process under subsection (d) or (e) is guilty
of a misdemeanor of the first degree a nd, upon conviction, shall
be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to undergo
imprisonment of not more than five years, or both, in the
discretion of the court.
Section 3. Sections 3306(a)(6), 3308 and 3412 of Title 68
are amended to read:
(G) REMOVAL OF MEMBER OF EXECUTIVE BOARD.-- NOTWITHSTANDING
ANY PROVISION OF THE DECLARATION OR BYLAWS TO THE CONTRARY, THE
UNIT OWNERS, BY A TWO-THIRDS VOTE OF ALL PERSONS PRESENT AND
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ENTITLED TO VOTE AT ANY MEETING OF THE UNIT OWNERS AT WHICH A
QUORUM IS PRESENT, MAY REMOVE ANY MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
WITH OR WITHOUT CAUSE, OTHER THAN A MEMBER APPOINTED BY THE
DECLARANT, PROVIDED NOTICE OF THE INTENTION TO REMOVE A MEMBER
OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD IS GIVEN WITH THE NOTICE OF THE MEETING
AT WHICH SUCH REMOVAL IS CONSIDERED.
SECTION 3. SECTIONS 3306(A)(3) AND (6) AND 3308 OF TITLE 68
ARE AMENDED TO READ:
§ 3306. Bylaws.
(a) Mandatory provisions.--The bylaws of the association
must provide for:
* * *
(3) THE QUALIFICATIONS, POWERS AND DUTIES, TERMS OF
OFFICE AND MANNER OF ELECTING EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS AND
OFFICERS AND REMOVING EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS AND OFFICERS
UNDER SECTION 3303(G) (RELATING TO EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS
AND OFFICERS) AND FILLING VACANCIES.
* * *
(6) The method of amending the bylaws. The following
apply:
(i) The bylaws may be amended only by vote , VOTE BY
PROXY or agreement of unit owners of units to which at
least:
(A) fifty-one percent of the votes in the
association is allocated as provided under section
3208 (relating to allocation of common element
interests, votes and common expense liabilities) ARE
COLLECTED FROM UNIT OWNERS IN PERSON, ELECTRONICALLY
OR BY ABSENTEE BALLOT ;
(B) any larger majority as specified in the
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bylaws; or
(C) a smaller number as specified in the bylaws
if all of the units are restricted exclusively to
nonresidential use.
(ii) The vote may be taken only at a scheduled
meeting as provided under section 3308 (relating to
meetings) that was advertised seven days in advance to
the unit owners. Absentee voting shall be permitted to
unit owners provided that the ballots must be submitted
to an independent reviewer during a time period
consistent with the absentee voting provisions under
Article XIII of the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333,
No.320), known as the Pennsylvania Election Code WITHIN
FIVE DAYS AFTER THE SCHEDULED MEETING .
* * *
§ 3308. Meetings.
(a) Association IN-PERSON ASSOCIATION meetings.-- The bylaws
must require that IN-PERSON meetings of the association be held
at least once each year and provide for special meetings. The
bylaws must specify which of the association's officers, not
less than ten nor more than 60 days in advance of any meeting,
shall cause notice to be hand delivered or sent prepaid by
United States mail to the mailing address of each unit or to any
other mailing address designated in writing by the unit owner.
The notice of [any] AN IN-PERSON meeting must state the time and
place of the meeting and the items on the agenda, including the
general nature of any proposed amendment to the declaration or
bylaws, any budget or assessment changes and, where the
declaration or bylaws require approval of unit owners, any
proposal to remove an executive board member or officer.
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(A.1) VIRTUAL ASSOCIATION MEETINGS.--
(1) THE BYLAWS MUST REQUIRE THAT NOTICE OF VIRTUAL
MEETINGS OF THE ASSOCIATION BE GIVEN BY:
(I) FIRST CLASS OR EXPRESS MAIL, POSTAGE PREPAID, OR
COURIER SERVICE, CHARGES PREPAID, TO THE MAILING ADDRESS
OF EACH UNIT OR TO ANY OTHER MAILING ADDRESS DESIGNATED
IN WRITING BY THE UNIT OWNER. NOTICE UNDER THIS
SUBPARAGRAPH SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO A UNIT
OWNER WHEN DEPOSITED IN THE UNITED STATES MAIL OR WITH A
COURIER SERVICE FOR DELIVERY TO THE UNIT OWNER.
(II) FACSIMILE TRANSMISSION, E-MAIL OR OTHER
ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION TO THE UNIT OWNER'S FACSIMILE
NUMBER OR ADDRESS FOR E-MAIL OR OTHER ELECTRONIC
COMMUNICATIONS SUPPLIED BY THE UNIT OWNER FOR THE PURPOSE
OF NOTICE. NOTICE UNDER THIS SUBPARAGRAPH SHALL BE DEEMED
TO HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO THE UNIT OWNER WHEN SENT.
(2) (RESERVED).
(B) USE OF REMOTE TECHNOLOGY.--EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED
IN THE BYLAWS, AN INDIVIDUAL MAY PARTICIPATE IN A MEETING OF THE
EXECUTIVE BOARD OR ASSOCIATION BY MEANS OF A CONFERENCE
TELEPHONE OR OTHER REMOTE ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGY, INCLUDING THE
INTERNET, WHICH ALLOWS PARTICIPANTS IN THE MEETING TO HEAR EACH
OTHER. PARTICIPATION IN A MEETING AS AUTHORIZED UNDER THIS
SUBSECTION SHALL BE DEEMED IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE AT THE MEETING.
(b) (C) Election sessions .--The bylaws must require that a
special session of the association be held not later than seven
days before the election of an executive board member or officer
of the association to allow the unit owners to meet each
candidate for an executive board position or officer position. A
special session under this subsection may be held virtually or
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in person. Each candidate for an executive board position or
officer position with the association shall have equal time to
address the unit owners during a special session under this
subsection.
§ 3412. Effect of violations on rights of action.
(a) General rule.--If a declarant or [any other person] an
executive board member subject to this subpart violates any
provision thereof or any provision of the declaration or
bylaws[, any] in executing his or her duties as a declarant or
an executive board member:
(1) Any person or class of persons adversely affected by
the violation has a claim for appropriate relief.
(2) The violation shall constitute an unfair trade
practice as defined in and may be enforced by the Office of
Attorney General under the act of December 17, 1968
(P.L.1224, No.387), known as the Unfair Trade Practices and
Consumer Protection Law.
(b) Punitive damages.--Punitive damages may be awarded in
the case of a willful violation of the subpart and, if
appropriate, the prevailing party may be entitled to an award of
costs and reasonable attorney fees.
(D) RECORDED MEETING.--IF A MEETING OF THE ASSOCIATION WILL
BE RECORDED VIA AUDIO OR VIDEO, AN ANNOUNCEMENT SHALL BE MADE AT
THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE MEETING THAT THE MEETING WILL BE
RECORDED. A RECORDED MEETING UNDER THIS SUBSECTION SHALL BE
AVAILABLE TO UNIT OWNERS FOR A PERIOD OF SIX MONTHS AFTER THE
DATE OF THE MEETING.
Section 4. Section 4103 of Title 68 is amended by adding
definitions to read:
§ 4103. Definitions.
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Subject to additional definitions contained in subsequent
provisions of this subpart which are applicable to specific
provisions of this subpart, the following words and phrases when
used in this subpart and in the declaration and bylaws shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
* * *
"Independent reviewer." A person who is selected by the
declarant or a majority of the proprietary lessees of a
cooperative and satisfies all of the following:
(1) Holds a certificate as a certified public accountant
issued by the Commonwealth, is licensed to practice law in
this Commonwealth or is a vote management system.
(2) Is not a proprietary lessee of the cooperative,
directly or indirectly.
(3) Has no IMMEDIATE family relationship with a
proprietary lessee of the cooperative or a cooperative
manager.
(4) Has no financial interest shared with a proprietary
lessee of the cooperative or a cooperative manager.
(5) If compensated by the declarant, a director, the
association or a cooperative manager, has disclosed the terms
of the compensation to all proprietary lessees of the
cooperative AT A SCHEDULED MEETING .
* * *
"Vote management system." A third-party vendor who operates
a digital or subscription service that securely manages the
conduct of elections and voting procedures.
Section 5. Section 4219 of Title 68 is amended by adding
subsections A SUBSECTION to read:
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§ 4219. Master associations.
* * *
(e.1) Independent reviewer.--The certificate of
incorporation or other instrument creating the master
association and the declaration of each cooperative, the powers
of which are assigned by the declaration or delegated to the
master association, shall provide that a vote by a proprietary
lessee in an election of the executive board of an association
must be submitted by the proprietary lessee to an independent
reviewer who shall tally the results of the election and certify
the results to the executive board and proprietary lessees. IN
ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE IN THE ELECTION, A PROPRIETARY
LESSEE SHALL BE IN GOOD STANDING WITH THE MASTER ASSOCIATION. IF
A THIRD-PARTY VENDOR CONDUCTS THE ELECTION, THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
MAY PRESENT THE OFFICIAL ELECTION RESULTS BASED ON THE CERTIFIED
ELECTION REPORT FROM THE INDEPENDENT REVIEWER AT A MEETING OF
THE PROPRIETARY LESSEES AND SHALL ENTER THE RESULTS IN THE
MEETING RECORDS. THE EXECUTIVE BOARD SHALL ENSURE THAT ALL
MAILINGS RELATING TO THE ELECTION USE THE RETURN ADDRESS OF THE
THIRD-PARTY VENDOR THAT CONDUCTS THE ELECTION. All votes by
proprietary lessees under this subsection shall be submitted to
the independent reviewer in either an electronic or a paper
format. The interchangeable submission of votes by proprietary
lessees in an electronic and a paper format in the same election
shall be prohibited. IF VOTES ARE SUBMITTED IN AN ELECTRONIC
FORMAT, THE MASTER ASSOCIATION SHALL PROVIDE REASONABLE
ACCOMMODATIONS TO A PROPRIETARY LESSEE WHO DOES NOT HAVE ACCESS
TO ELECTRONIC MEANS TO SUBMIT THE PROPRIETARY LESSEE'S VOTE.
This subsection shall only apply to a cooperative with at least
100 units. If a cooperative has more than 100 units and less
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than 500 units, the MASTER association may opt out of the
requirements under this subsection by amending the association's
bylaws in accordance with section 4306 (relating to bylaws) A
MAJORITY VOTE OF PROPRIETARY LESSEES .
* * *
(h) Penalties.--A person who attempts to interfere with the
votes or election process under subsection (e.1) is guilty of a
misdemeanor of the first degree and, upon conviction, shall be
sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to undergo
imprisonment of not more than five years, or both, in the
discretion of the court.
Section 6. Sections 4306(a)(6), 4308 and 4415 4306(A)(3) AND
(6) AND 4308 of Title 68 are amended to read:
§ 4306. Bylaws.
(a) Mandatory provisions.--The bylaws of the association
must provide for:
* * *
(3) THE QUALIFICATIONS, POWERS AND DUTIES, TERMS OF
OFFICE AND MANNER OF ELECTING EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS AND
OFFICERS AND REMOVING EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS AND OFFICERS
UNDER SECTION 4303(G) (RELATING TO EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS
AND OFFICERS) AND FILLING VACANCIES.
* * *
(6) The method of amending the bylaws. The following
apply:
(i) The bylaws may be amended only by vote , VOTE BY
PROXY or agreement of proprietary lessees of cooperative
interests to which at least 51% of the votes in the
association are allocated as provided under section 4207
(relating to allocation of ownership interests, votes and
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common expense liabilities) ARE COLLECTED FROM UNIT
OWNERS IN PERSON, ELECTRONICALLY OR BY ABSENTEE BALLOT or
any larger majority the declaration specifies. The
declaration may specify a smaller number only if all of
the units are restricted exclusively to nonresidential
use.
(ii) The vote may be taken only at a scheduled
meeting as provided under section 4308 (relating to
meetings) that was advertised seven days in advance to
the proprietary lessees. Absentee voting shall be
permitted to proprietary lessees provided that the
ballots must be submitted to an independent reviewer
during a time period consistent with the absentee voting
provisions under Article XIII of the act of June 3, 1937
(P.L.1333, No.320), known as the Pennsylvania Election
Code WITHIN FIVE DAYS AFTER THE SCHEDULED MEETING .
* * *
§ 4308. Meetings.
(a) Association IN-PERSON ASSOCIATION meetings.-- [A] AN IN-
PERSON meeting of the association must be held at least once
each year. Special meetings of the association may be called by
the president, a majority of the executive board or by 20%, or
any lower percentage specified in the bylaws, of the proprietary
lessees. Not less than ten nor more than 60 days in advance of
any meeting, the secretary or other officer specified in the
bylaws shall cause notice to be hand delivered or sent prepaid
by United States mail to the mailing address of each unit or to
any other mailing address designated in writing by the
proprietary lessee. The notice of any meeting must state the
time and place of the meeting and the items on the agenda,
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including the general nature of any proposed amendment to the
declaration or bylaws, any budget or assessment changes and,
where the declaration or bylaws require approval of the
proprietary lessees, any proposal to remove an executive board
member or officer.
(A.1) VIRTUAL ASSOCIATION MEETINGS.--
(1) THE BYLAWS MUST REQUIRE THAT NOTICE OF VIRTUAL
MEETINGS OF THE ASSOCIATION BE GIVEN BY:
(I) FIRST CLASS OR EXPRESS MAIL, POSTAGE PREPAID, OR
COURIER SERVICE, CHARGES PREPAID, TO THE MAILING ADDRESS
OF EACH UNIT OR TO ANY OTHER MAILING ADDRESS DESIGNATED
IN WRITING BY THE PROPRIETARY LESSEE. NOTICE UNDER THIS
SUBPARAGRAPH SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO A
PROPRIETARY LESSEE WHEN DEPOSITED IN THE UNITED STATES
MAIL OR WITH A COURIER SERVICE FOR DELIVERY TO THE
PROPRIETARY LESSEE.
(II) FACSIMILE TRANSMISSION, E-MAIL OR OTHER
ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION TO THE PROPRIETARY LESSEE'S
FACSIMILE NUMBER OR ADDRESS FOR E-MAIL OR OTHER
ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS SUPPLIED BY THE PROPRIETARY
LESSEE FOR THE PURPOSE OF NOTICE. NOTICE UNDER THIS
SUBPARAGRAPH SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO THE
PROPRIETARY LESSEE WHEN SENT.
(2) (RESERVED).
(B) USE OF REMOTE TECHNOLOGY.--EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED
IN THE BYLAWS, AN INDIVIDUAL MAY PARTICIPATE IN A MEETING OF THE
EXECUTIVE BOARD OR ASSOCIATION BY MEANS OF A CONFERENCE
TELEPHONE OR OTHER REMOTE ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGY, INCLUDING THE
INTERNET, WHICH ALLOWS PARTICIPANTS IN THE MEETING TO HEAR EACH
OTHER. PARTICIPATION IN A MEETING AS AUTHORIZED UNDER THIS
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SUBSECTION SHALL BE DEEMED IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE AT THE MEETING.
(b) (C) Election sessions.--The bylaws must require that a
special session of the association be held not later than seven
days before the election AT LEAST SEVEN DAYS PRIOR TO THE
ELECTION of an executive board member or officer of the
association to allow the proprietary lessees to meet each
candidate for an executive board position or officer position. A
special session under this subsection may be held virtually or
in person. Each candidate for an executive board position or
officer position with the association shall have equal time to
address the proprietary lessees during a special session under
this subsection.
§ 4415. Effect of violations on rights of action.
(a) General rule.--If a declarant or [any other person] an
executive board member subject to this subpart fails to comply
with any provision of this subpart or any provision of the
declaration or bylaws[, any] in executing his or her duties as a
declarant or an executive board member:
(1) Any person or class of persons adversely affected by
the failure to comply has a claim for appropriate relief.
(2) The violation shall constitute an unfair trade
practice as defined in and may be enforced by the Office of
Attorney General under the act of December 17, 1968
(P.L.1224, No.387), known as the Unfair Trade Practices and
Consumer Protection Law.
(b) Punitive damages.--Punitive damages may be awarded for a
willful failure to comply with this subpart. The court, in an
appropriate case, may award reasonable attorney fees.
(D) RECORDED MEETING.--IF A MEETING OF THE ASSOCIATION WILL
BE RECORDED VIA AUDIO OR VIDEO, AN ANNOUNCEMENT SHALL BE MADE AT
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THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE MEETING THAT THE MEETING WILL BE
RECORDED. A RECORDED MEETING UNDER THIS SUBSECTION SHALL BE
AVAILABLE TO PROPRIETARY LESSEES FOR A PERIOD OF SIX MONTHS
AFTER THE DATE OF THE MEETING.
Section 7. Section 5103 of Title 68 is amended by adding
definitions to read:
§ 5103. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this subpart and
in the declaration and bylaws shall have the meanings given to
them in this section unless specifically provided otherwise or
unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
* * *
"Independent reviewer." A person who is selected by the
declarant or a majority of the unit owners of a planned
community and satisfies all of the following:
(1) Holds a certificate as a certified public accountant
issued by the Commonwealth, is licensed to practice law in
this Commonwealth or is a vote management system.
(2) Is not a unit owner of the planned community,
directly or indirectly.
(3) Has no IMMEDIATE family relationship with a unit
owner of the planned community or a planned community
manager.
(4) Has no financial interest shared with a unit owner
of the planned community or a planned community manager.
(5) If compensated by the declarant, a director, the
association or a planned community manager, has disclosed the
terms of the compensation to all unit owners of the planned
community AT A SCHEDULED MEETING .
* * *
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"Vote management system." A third-party vendor who operates
a digital or subscription service that securely manages the
conduct of elections and voting procedures.
* * *
Section 8. Section 5222 of Title 68 is amended by adding
subsections A SUBSECTION to read:
§ 5222. Master associations.
* * *
(e.1) Independent reviewer.--The instrument creating the
master association and the declaration of each planned community
of the organizational documents of other associations, the
powers of which are assigned pursuant to the declaration or
organizational documents or delegated to the master association,
shall also provide that a vote by a unit owner in an election of
the members of the master association governing body must be
submitted by the unit owner to an independent reviewer who shall
tally the results of the election and certify the results to the
executive board and unit owner. IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE
IN THE ELECTION, A UNIT OWNER SHALL BE IN GOOD STANDING WITH THE
ASSOCIATION. IF A THIRD-PARTY VENDOR CONDUCTS THE ELECTION, THE
EXECUTIVE BOARD MAY PRESENT THE OFFICIAL ELECTION RESULTS BASED
ON THE CERTIFIED ELECTION REPORT FROM THE INDEPENDENT REVIEWER
AT A MEETING OF THE UNIT OWNERS AND SHALL ENTER THE RESULTS IN
THE MEETING RECORDS. THE EXECUTIVE BOARD SHALL ENSURE THAT ALL
MAILINGS RELATING TO THE ELECTION USE THE RETURN ADDRESS OF THE
THIRD-PARTY VENDOR THAT CONDUCTS THE ELECTION. All votes by unit
owners under this subsection shall be submitted to the
independent reviewer in either an electronic or a paper format.
The interchangeable submission of votes by unit owners in an
electronic and a paper format in the same election shall be
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prohibited. IF VOTES ARE SUBMITTED IN AN ELECTRONIC FORMAT, THE
MASTER ASSOCIATION SHALL PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS TO A
UNIT OWNER WHO DOES NOT HAVE ACCESS TO ELECTRONIC MEANS TO
SUBMIT THE UNIT OWNER'S VOTE. This subsection shall only apply
to a planned community with at least 100 units. If a planned
community has more than 100 units and less than 500 units, the
MASTER association may opt out of the requirements under this
subsection by amending the association's bylaws in accordance
with section 5306 (relating to bylaws) A MAJORITY VOTE OF UNIT
OWNERS .
* * *
(h) Penalties.--A person who attempts to interfere with the
votes or election process under subsection (e.1) is guilty of a
misdemeanor of the first degree and, upon conviction, shall be
sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to undergo
imprisonment of not more than five years, or both, in the
discretion of the court.
Section 9. Sections 5306(a)(6), 5308 and 5412 5306(A)(3) AND
(6) AND 5308 of Title 68 are amended to read:
§ 5306. Bylaws.
(a) Mandatory provisions.--The bylaws of the association
shall provide for all of the following:
* * *
(3) THE QUALIFICATIONS, POWERS AND DUTIES, TERMS OF
OFFICE AND MANNER OF ELECTING EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS AND
OFFICERS AND REMOVING EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS AND OFFICERS
UNDER SECTION 5303(G) (RELATING TO EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS
AND OFFICERS) AND FILLING VACANCIES.
* * *
(6) The method of amending the bylaws. The following
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apply:
(i) The bylaws may be amended only by vote , VOTE BY
PROXY or agreement of unit owners of units to which at
least:
(A) fifty-one percent of votes in the
association are allocated as provided under section
5208 (relating to allocation of votes and common
expense liabilities) ARE COLLECTED FROM UNIT OWNERS
IN PERSON, ELECTRONICALLY OR BY ABSENTEE BALLOT ;
(B) a larger percentage of the votes in the
association as specified in the bylaws; or
(C) a smaller percentage of the votes in the
association as specified in the bylaws if all units
are restricted exclusively to nonresidential use.
(ii) The vote may be taken only at a scheduled
meeting as provided under section 5308 (relating to
meetings) that was advertised seven days in advance to
the unit owners. Absentee voting shall be permitted to
unit owners provided that the ballots must be submitted
to an independent reviewer during a time period
consistent with the absentee voting provisions under
Article XIII of the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333,
No.320), known as the Pennsylvania Election Code WITHIN
FIVE DAYS AFTER THE SCHEDULED MEETING .
* * *
§ 5308. Meetings.
(a) Association IN-PERSON ASSOCIATION meetings.-- The bylaws
shall require that IN-PERSON meetings of the association be held
at least once each year and shall provide for special meetings.
The bylaws shall specify which of the association's officers,
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not less than ten nor more than 60 days in advance of any
meeting, shall cause notice to be hand delivered or sent prepaid
by United States mail to the mailing address of each unit or to
any other mailing address designated in writing by the unit
owner. The notice of any meeting must state the time and place
of the meeting and the items on the agenda, including the
general nature of any proposed amendment to the declaration or
bylaws; any budget or assessment changes; and, where the
declaration or bylaws require approval of unit owners, any
proposal to remove a director or officer.
(A.1) VIRTUAL ASSOCIATION MEETINGS.--
(1) THE BYLAWS MUST REQUIRE THAT NOTICE OF VIRTUAL
MEETINGS OF THE ASSOCIATION BE GIVEN BY:
(I) FIRST CLASS OR EXPRESS MAIL, POSTAGE PREPAID, OR
COURIER SERVICE, CHARGES PREPAID, TO THE MAILING ADDRESS
OF EACH UNIT OR TO ANY OTHER MAILING ADDRESS DESIGNATED
IN WRITING BY THE UNIT OWNER. NOTICE UNDER THIS
SUBPARAGRAPH SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO AN
UNIT OWNER WHEN DEPOSITED IN THE UNITED STATES MAIL OR
WITH A COURIER SERVICE FOR DELIVERY TO THE UNIT OWNER.
(II) FACSIMILE TRANSMISSION, E-MAIL OR OTHER
ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION TO THE UNIT OWNER'S FACSIMILE
NUMBER OR ADDRESS FOR E-MAIL OR OTHER ELECTRONIC
COMMUNICATIONS SUPPLIED BY THE UNIT OWNER FOR THE PURPOSE
OF NOTICE. NOTICE UNDER THIS SUBPARAGRAPH SHALL BE DEEMED
TO HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO THE UNIT OWNER WHEN SENT.
(2) (RESERVED).
(B) USE OF REMOTE TECHNOLOGY.--EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED
IN THE BYLAWS, AN INDIVIDUAL MAY PARTICIPATE IN A MEETING OF THE
EXECUTIVE BOARD OR ASSOCIATION BY MEANS OF A CONFERENCE
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TELEPHONE OR OTHER REMOTE ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGY, INCLUDING THE
INTERNET, WHICH ALLOWS EACH PARTICIPANT IN THE MEETING TO HEAR
EACH OTHER. PARTICIPATION IN A MEETING AS AUTHORIZED UNDER THIS
SUBSECTION SHALL BE DEEMED IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE AT THE MEETING.
(b) (C) Election sessions.--The bylaws shall require that a
special session of the association be held not later than seven
days before the election of an executive board member or officer
of the association to allow the unit owners to meet each
candidate for an executive board position or officer position. A
special session under this subsection may be held virtually or
in person. Each candidate for an executive board position or
officer position with the association shall have equal time to
address the unit owners during a special session under this
subsection.
§ 5412. Effect of violations on rights of action.
(a) General rule.--If a declarant or [any other person] an
executive board member subject to this subpart violates any
provision of this subpart or any provisions of the declaration
or bylaws[, any] in executing his or her duties as a declarant
or an executive board member:
(1) Any person or class of persons adversely affected by
the violation has a claim for appropriate relief.
(2) The violation shall constitute an unfair trade
practice as defined in and may be enforced by the Office of
Attorney General under the act of December 17, 1968
(P.L.1224, No.387), known as the Unfair Trade Practices and
Consumer Protection Law.
(b) Punitive damages.--Punitive damages may be awarded in
the case of a willful violation of the subpart and, if
appropriate, the prevailing party may be entitled to an award of
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costs and reasonable attorney fees.
(D) RECORDED MEETING.--IF A MEETING OF THE ASSOCIATION WILL
BE RECORDED VIA AUDIO OR VIDEO, AN ANNOUNCEMENT SHALL BE MADE AT
THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE MEETING THAT THE MEETING WILL BE
RECORDED. A RECORDED MEETING UNDER THIS SUBSECTION SHALL BE
AVAILABLE TO UNIT OWNERS FOR A PERIOD OF SIX MONTHS AFTER THE
DATE OF THE MEETING.
Section 10. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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