With the New Year comes new requirements for Wisconsin Homeowners Associations (HOA). In March 2022 the Wisconsin Legislature passed 2021 Wisconsin Act 199. Act 199 created a statutory framework for regulating HOAs and certain residential planned communities. Among the regulations, an HOA subject to this framework must:
- Record its covenants and restrictions with the register of deeds in the county in which the HOA is located.
- If the HOA maintains an internet site, then the HOA must post its covenants and restrictions on the internet site.
- File notice with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), including the name and contact information of an authorized individual to provide information on behalf of the HOA, and update this notice annually. If the HOA fails to file a required notice, then the HOA is precluded from charging late fees for unpaid assessments as well as any fees in connection with a transfer of ownership during the period of noncompliance.
- Provide notice of meetings of the HOA to the residential lot owners within the HOA at least 48 hours before each meeting.
- If providing copies of covenants and restrictions, charge the lesser of actual costs or $50, unless the HOA’s covenants and restrictions authorize higher amounts.
- Provide written notice to a residential lot owner prior to suspension of any of the owner’s rights for failure to timely pay assessments, unless the HOA’s covenants and restrictions authorize suspension without notice.
- Provide a payoff statement to a residential lot owner within 10 business days of a request by the owner. Act 199 specifies the fees the HOA may charge for the payoff statement and the damages owed to the owner by the HOA for failure to provide a timely payoff statement.
Act 199 generally went into effect on March 20, 2022; but the section regarding filing notice with the DFI was delayed until January 1, 2023, to allow the DFI time to establish the statewide filing system. As of December 28, 2022, the statewide filing system is live on the DFI’s website, which includes the initial notice online form and a related Homeowners’ Association search engine. The regulations described above and contained in Act 199 do not apply to condominium associations. Please help us get the word out about these new requirements for Homeowners’ Associations and Welcome to the New Year!