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QUESTION/ANSWER BY JOHN H. GETTINGER, ESQ.

Question:

If a by-law is changed/amended, how must homeowners received notification, and is there a grace period for it to take effect?

Answer:

You would need to review the homeowner's association's by-laws to determine the method by which notices to homeowners are required to be given by the homeowners association. The by-laws may require notices be given by personal delivery or by regular mail, certified mail or overnight mail. Some modern by-laws may permit notices to be given by facsimile telecommunication or electronic mail.

In addition, in the case of a condominium, an amendment to the by-laws must be recorded with the County Clerk's office in the county in which the condominium is located. Pursuant to ยง399-(u) of the Real Property Law of the State of New York "no modification of or amendment to by-laws shall be valid unless set forth in amendment to the Declaration and such amendment is duly recorded." In the case of a homeowners association, you would need to review the Declaration of Covenants, Easements and Restrictions to determine if it requires that the amendment be recorded with the County Clerk in order to be valid. Recording of the by-laws gives homeowners and future homeowners constructive knowledge of the matters contained in the amendment.

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