HOA Owner's Protection Act
Currently in New Jersey, homeowner association boards are not subject to oversight or accountability from any governmental or non-governmental agency. This lack of oversight denies protection for individual homeowners of common real estate property. A bill sponsored by NJ Senator Jeff Van Drew aims to protect the individual homeowners and establish the Office of the Common Interest Community Association Ombudsman. This bill would operate for the benefit of owners of common interest real property in the State NJ or relating to properties established as real estate cooperatives, or created pursuant to the “Horizontal Property Act,” P.L.1963, c.168 (C.46:8A-1 et seq.), the “Condominium Act,” P.L. 1969, c. 257 (C.46:8B-1 et seq.), or subject to the "The Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act," P.L. 1977, c. 419 (C.45:22A-21 et seq.). In brief, the bill would:
- Create a function that would be a great benefit to families who own or are considering purchasing properties subject to a Homeowners Association or Board,
- Track which communities have complaints against them, and
- Establish clear, equitable guidelines on electing representatives to serve on homeowners associations.
"Called CIC Ombudsman for short, the CIC would have the power to establish rules and regulations concerning the operation, management, oversight, and any other actions of a governing body of a common interest community association; receive complaints and conduct investigations concerning of unfair, unlawful, or inequitable practices of a governing body of a common interest community association; make recommendations to the Governor and Legislature concerning potential changes to laws concerning the governing bodies of common interest community associations; establish and maintain a website for the benefit of the public, which shall include the results of any investigations, best practice suggestions, sample agreements, proposed and adopted rules and regulations, and any recommendations made to the Legislature and Governor. The rules and regulations would promote an equitable relationship between governing bodies and unit owners; provide for a transparent process by which a governing body can conduct its business effectively, efficiently, and equitably; establish a uniform process for the election of members of a governing body, including term length and mandatory term-limits for all members of governing bodies; establish transparency requirements relative to the meetings, documents, correspondence, and contracts of governing bodies; and create an administrative appeal process, to be conducted by an independent arbitrator, through which a governing body can challenge a final determination of the CIC Ombudsman."
Unfortunately, this bill will be enacted too late to help me. As you may know, I had a very negative experience when I owned a condo in a homeowners association in Wildwood, NJ. I proposed this law in hopes that my experience will help others. I ask you to please support and sign this petition to create a positive change for homeowners across the state. Every signature counts, so please forward to all of your friends and family. This proposal will not only ensure that all homeowners are following the rules, but will help warn future owners which communities have been hit with deficiencies by the State of NJ. Thank you for helping create a positive change that is very much needed!