HOA covenants form the rules and regulations of a community association that must be adhered to by members and the BOD. They are referred to as the community’s Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions, or CC&Rs.
When you purchase a home in a planned community you are automatically bound by the CC&Rs of your association. They are legally binding and if you violate any of the terms there can be consequences.
But what happens if a covenant expires? Is this even possible?
Covenants can and typically do have expiration dates. It varies state by state and covenant to covenant. In Florida, if a covenant is older than 30 years it may no longer be enforceable.
What this means for the community association is that the CC&Rs can no longer be enforced, assessments can no longer be collected and the BOD’s power is nullified.
Luckily, there is a process to reinstate the covenant called “Covenant Revitalization.”
Chapter 720, Part III, Florida Statutes, provides a way to revitalize a declaration of covenants. We’re not going to get into the nitty gritty here, but the gist of the legal jargon states:
- The revived declaration needs to be approved by a majority of homeowners at an approved meeting.
- The new covenant can’t contain more restricted covenants than the old one, with a few exceptions. It can have a longer term than the old declaration. It can take out restrictions in the old declaration. I can govern fewer homes or parcels than the old declaration. It can contain new amendments to the declaration and other governing documents. And it can contain new provisions that Chapter 720 now requires.
- The new declaration must give the same voting interests.
- Proportional assessments can’t be changed.
- The amendment provisions can’t be changed if the old declaration did not include amendment provisions. If they are changed, they requiring approval of two-thirds of the property owners.
Additionally, section 720.405, Florida Statutes, says that at least three unit owners are required to propose the covenant revitalization. Then this committee must submit the proposed covenant revitalization to all unit owners at a properly noticed meeting. They must follow all the specific guidelines of the statute including getting an attorney or court reporter to certify proof of notice of the meeting.
The final step, under section 720.406, Florida Statutes, is to submit the proposed revived governing documents to the Department of Economic Opportunity within 60 days of the vote.
Revitalizing a covenant is no small matter, but letting a covenant expire is an even greater worry. Do you know if your covenant has an expiration date?
Contact us for assistance with covenant revitalization.
We are in a HOA that has applied for revitalization. There have been no meetings held or any compliance to the state requirements for revitalization. There is 5 sections in the HOA 4 and 5 are considered in the HOA. Sections 1,2 and 3 require revitalization. The HOA continues to include sections 1,2 and 3 as members and collect dues.
Is the HOA correct in their process?
Where can I find status of my HOA docs in Pinellas county?
I refer to Villas of Lake Arbor in Clearwater 33763. Mine date 1984 all amendments removed from volahoa website…
County clerks office or any title co can do a search as I did.what I found was shocking ,I asked the county attorney for a legal opinion as I say it’s fraud
Our covenants expired and years later an amendment was recorded limiting rentals.
After revitalization the rental restrictions did not appear in the new Declaration.
Will we have to propose the rental restriction again for it to be valid?
Our 1972 Condo Docs have not been revitalized Are they still valid? Does our board still have any authority?
What happens if community votes against revitalization, hoa still send forms to DOE but they were denied. Where do owners go from here to dissolve and are we entitled to our percentage of land within our community?
Our revitalization has been denied. We could use your services
What happens when a members has a title search done and it reveals not only did the covenants expire but no recording was made under preservation of the covenants.
Also it was revealed that the bylaws were completely rewritten but never ratified or recorded in the clerks office.the hoa still continues to handout the fake bylaws to new owners,