Understanding the Rights of Co-Owners of a Separate Interest in a Homeowners Association

The governing documents of most homeowners associations make a distinction between a member’s voting rights and all the other rights and privileges of members in the association. Thus, for example, it is common for an association’s governing documents to provide that a person who owns more than one separate interest in the development has voting rights for each such interest, but only one membership interest in the association. Likewise, where more than one individual owns a single separate interest, they are typically required by the association’s governing documents to designate only one of the co-owners as the voting member. Notwithstanding a requirement that co-owners vote through one designated co-owner, it is commonplace for governing documents to provide that the other co-owners are each members for non-voting purposes such as the use and enjoyment of the association’s common area facilities.

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