New Year’s Resolutions: New Bylaws for your HOA?

Roberto Ortiz de Montellano is a Mexican-Licensed Attorney at Law with over twenty years of professional legal experience. He started his own practice in Puerto Vallarta two years ago. His areas of expertise focuses primarily on Real Estate Law, Business Law and Estate Planning. www.ortizdemontellano.com

2017 has arrived and many people are now starting to work on their New Year’s resolutions. As you may know, accomplishing these resolutions is not an easy task since old habits die hard. However, some people are very determined to bring come change into their life, a change for the good that eventually will become a permanent state, and maybe you are one of these people. But what about your HOA? Is it changing with the times? Many HOA’s here in Puerto Vallarta operate with obsolete bylaws and this can represent a challenge in the administration of your Condominium Regime. Bylaws can be amended but, like any New Year’s resolution, achieving that change will require some work.

So how can I modify the bylaws of my HOA?
Bylaws of an HOA can only be amended through an extraordinary homeowners’ meeting.
You will need the consent of the homeowners representing 75% of the vote of your HOA. This vote can be obtained either at the meeting or 30 days after by gathering the vote in writing from the homeowners who didn’t attend the meeting. These requirements apply whether you want to change the wording of a bylaw or if you want to add a totally new bylaw.

The wording of the amended bylaws was voted on and approved in English, what’s next?
Once you have approved the wording of your bylaws you must translate those bylaws into Spanish and this wording needs to be included in the minutes that eventually will be notarized and recorded. If you kept the wording in English and you didn’t include it in the minutes, the amendment to your bylaw is not valid.
Many people don’t embrace change very well and you might have some people like that in your HOA. This will make the task of amending your bylaws even more complicated, but with some persistence and proper counsel you’ll be able to achieve this goal, and then who knows, perhaps you’ll have a state of the art HOA in Puerto Vallarta.