New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Advancing: Kean’s ‘Association Homeowners’ Protection Act’ for Middle-Class Residents

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean’s “Association Homeowners’ Protection Act,” to empower more than a million New Jersey residents in homeowners’ associations, was passed 4-0 by the Senate Community & Urban Affairs Committee.

Sen. Tom Kean’s “Association Homeowners’ Protection Act” would empower more than a million New Jersey residents in homeowners’ associations. (©iStock)

“Senate Republicans have heard from and read about too many middle-class residents being taken advantage of by obstructionist and secretive homeowners’ associations and management companies,” Kean said. “This legislation will protect and empower the more than one million New Jersey residents in condominiums, townhouses and single-family homes who each pay thousands of dollars per year in homeowners’ association dues. Without increasing homeowners’ association costs, it will provide member homeowners expedient access to emergency services, financial records and policy documents they need.”

Senator Kean’s Association Homeowners’ Protection Act expands and modifies New Jersey’s “Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act,” which hasn’t been updated in 23 years.

“This is about bringing commonsense accountability and transparency reforms to the most-local governing bodies that for too long have been operating unchecked,” Kean said.

The “Association Homeowners’ Protection Act”:

  • Requires homeowners’ associations to provide upon a member’s request — electronically within 24 hours or hardcopy within 48 hours — a copy of homeowners’ association insurance polices, which are typically needed by a member’s personal home insurance company to begin the claims process;
  • Requires homeowners’ associations to provide a 24-hour emergency phone number for members, which can be fulfilled via an existing phone line, manager’s mobile line or rotating call forwarding setup;
  • Requires homeowners’ associations to provide upon a member’s request — electronically within one business day or hardcopy within two business days — a roster of current association board members; contact information for each current board member, consisting of a private electronic mail address by which a board member can be contacted directly by association members; board election dates and application forms for candidacy; the most-recently adopted annual budget; and insurance information for any policy held by an association, including the name of insurance companies, the name of the broker or provider of the insurance policy, and any applicable policy numbers.

This legislation would not affect residential home or apartment owners who do not belong to common interest communities. It is not retroactive but the aforementioned new requirements must be adopted by associations the next time they change bylaws or when new bylaws are adopted.

This Act was inspired, in part, by constituents who hit homeowners’ association roadblocks when they tried to address damage to their properties after June 23 South Jersey storms, which caused more than $15 million in damages and thousands of property insurance claims.

“This legislation makes abundantly clear the duties that association managers must provide their members in a transparent fashion, without question or obstruction,” Kean added. “I’m hopeful that with bipartisan sponsorship and support this bill will be swiftly passed to the governor for signage into law.”

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