Common interest communities are subject to the laws of the land, and as a manager, executive, or board member, it's important that you have a comprehensive understanding of them.

This article aims to shed some light on the relevant legislation to ensure that you have access to the information you need to ensure that your HOA remains compliant.

Starting with the Basics

Before we get into the complex legal framework, we thought it would be best to start with an overview of homeowners associations (HOAs).

Put simply, a homeowners, community, or property owners association is a kind of private entity that is established by the community. Its primary function is to ensure that certain community standards are upheld.

They are also responsible for the maintenance and repair of shared spaces and facilities. By doing this, these organizations maintain property values and promote a sense of uniformity.

In addition to state laws, HOAs in Minnesota are also regulated by their own governing documents, which generally include the following:

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions
  • Bylaws

An Overview of Minnesota HOA Laws

Now that you understand HOAs a little better let's discuss some of the state laws that govern a common interest community.

Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act

The Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act, which can be found in Chapter 515B of the Minnesota Statutes, oversees the establishment, administration, authority, and operations of all common interest communities created after the 31st of May 1994.

Minnesota Condominium Act

This state legislation controls the establishment, leadership, authority, and functioning of condominium associations that choose in their declaration to be regulated by it. 

Minnesota Uniform Condominium Act

The Minnesota Uniform Condominium Act is applicable to condo associations that were formed after the first of August 1980.

Minnesota Nonprofit Corporation Act

This legislation oversees nonprofit corporations and sets rules and guidelines on their organizational makeup and procedures. The Minnesota Nonprofit Corporation Act governs the majority of Minnesota HOAs, as most choose to be incorporated as nonprofit corporations.

Minnesota Human Rights Act

The residents of Minnesota are protected from housing discrimination based on the following characteristics: 

  • National origin
  • Marital status
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Sexual orientation
  • Familial status
  • Sex
  • Color
  • Public assistance status

This act is comparable to the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA), but instead of protection at a federal level, it offers state-level protections. The Minnesota Department of Human Rights is in charge of enforcing it.

Keep in mind that additional state, federal, or local laws may apply, so it's important to do additional research to ensure that your HOA is compliant.

HOA Fines

Community associations in Minnesota have the power to fine association members for failing to pay their dues on time or for breaking HOA rules or regulations. Before imposing fines, however, the association must provide sufficient notice and ensure that the member receives a chance to be heard. 

It's also important to note that a property owners association may not punish or otherwise prevent a homeowner from displaying the national or state flag when done in accordance with the law.

Furthermore, these organizations are not permitted to ban or restrict the placement of antennas or satellite dishes.

More information regarding fines can be found in the association's community documents.

Liens and Foreclosures

Homeowner's associations in Minnesota also have the authority to foreclose on a member's home. When a homeowner fails to pay their fees on time, the community association has the authority to place a lien on the delinquent owner's home. If a lien is not addressed, the association may foreclose on the property.

Keep in mind that the foreclosure process demands a court decision. The sheriff will be given an order from the court instructing him to sell the property and disclose the proceeds to the court to fulfill the ruling.

About DoorLoop's Smart HOA Management Tools

Do you want to keep track of maintenance requests, execute crucial accounting tasks, schedule board meetings, and improve interaction with residents? You need DoorLoop's HOA management software!

It is intended to assist board members, managers, and executives in complying with the requirements set out by federal, state, and local legislation by allowing you to easily produce budgets and financial information thanks to powerful accounting features.

DoorLoop's property management software also allows you to keep track of assessment payments, issue notices to residents, and so much more. By automating certain mundane tasks, it can free up your time so that you can focus on more pertinent matters.

You can try our software out for free by scheduling your free demo. To learn more, please feel free to reach out to us!

Final Remarks

It is critical to understand and follow the applicable state legislation. Failure to do so may result in the unit owners association being taken to federal or state court. Because there may be other laws that apply to your HOA, we recommend conducting further research.

You might want to think about hiring a legal advisor to ensure that your HOA complies with these regulations.

A great way to ensure compliance is to incorporate HOA management software to help ensure transparency and streamline your workflow. To learn more or get a FREE demo, contact DoorLoop today!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are there any Minnesota HOA laws that promote fair debt collection practices at the state level?

Yes. The Minnesota Collection Agencies Act, which is similar to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, is designed to regulate debt collection, and it protects homeowners (or consumers) against unfair, misleading, or abusive treatment when debts are being recovered.

2. What does the law prevent HOAs from prohibiting?

State laws make any homeowners association document void that expressly prohibits the display of the national flag. However, an HOA may include reasonable guidelines on the placement of the flag to maintain the aesthetic standards of the community.

3. Where can I find an association's governing documents in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, community documents pertaining to homeowners associations are considered public records.

These organizations must file a number of documents with their local county recorder's office, and you can obtain a copy of these records by heading to your county recorder's office. Certain counties might allow you to access these records online.

Homeowner's associations must also file their Articles of Incorporation and other necessary paperwork with the Minnesota Secretary of State. These records can be located by doing a business search and paying for copies.

4. What should I do if a homeowner files a lawsuit against my HOA?

It's important to know how to handle complaints and disputes and have a comprehensive understanding of the applicable laws to avoid any legal repercussions. We advise seeking legal counsel from an experienced attorney for help if a member files a lawsuit against the homeowner association.

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David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!