On July 13, 2017 new legislation was signed into law which could significantly impact community and condominium associations in New Jersey (P.L. 2017 Chapter 106, known as the “Radburn” bill). Portions of the new law addressing association elections go into effect on October 1, 2017 in order to give associations an adequate opportunity to review these new provisions to determine if and how they affect their current election procedures; the balance of the provisions in the new law take effect immediately. We will be providing more information to our association clients in the coming weeks, however here are a few highlights of the new law:
- In any elections occurring after October 1, unit owners in good standing will have the right to nominate themselves or other owners in good standing. Bylaw provisions requiring nomination by a Nominating Committee or requiring the signing of a petition by other owners will no longer be valid. Nominating Committees may still nominate owners for election to the board but they may no longer be the exclusive source of nominations to an association’s governing board.
- Notices seeking nominations for the board must be sent to all owners not less than 30 days before the notice of the election meeting is sent.
- Notices of the election meeting must be sent to all members 14 or more days before the meeting date, but not more than 60 days before the meeting date.
- Unless the governing documents set a specific time or interval, the elections shall be held at two-year intervals, and terms shall not exceed 4 years, although board members may serve more than one term.
- Candidates’ names must be listed alphabetically on all ballots, proxy ballots and absentee ballots.
- Electronic voting in board elections is statutorily authorized and electronic notice of meetings is also authorized if permitted under the bylaws of the Association.
- A somewhat complicated provision allows an association’s board to amend the bylaws without a vote of the members if no more than 10% of the owners object to the proposed amendment.
How these new laws affect each Association depends on their existing governing documents. Upon request, we will review your specific governing documents and provide you with detailed direction on what steps need to be taken to ensure that you are in compliance.