Minnesota HOAs’ Rights to Govern and Foreclose Kept in Tact

by Alex Nelson

June 18, 2012

This legislative session at the Capitol, Minnesota homeowners associations managed to defeat a proposed bill that would have narrowed their rights to effectively govern their communities, and which would have impaired their abilities to foreclose on their statutory liens for assessments. The bill (“HF1254″) was never brought to a vote before either the House of Representative or the Senate, and therefore expired along with the legislative session on May 10.

Specifically, HF1254 would have:

  1. Precluded common interest communities from prohibiting or restricting certain homeowners from installing their own flagpoles in the common interest community.
  2. Prohibited common interest communities from banning or limiting owners’ display of political campaign signs and banners.
  3. Limited the ability of common interest communities to foreclose on statutory 515B.3-116 liens for assessments to situations where the owner’s debt to the association arises from a “major” infraction of the association’s governing documents.

The Legislative Action Committee of the Community Associations Institute had lobbied heavily against the bill.  The House Civil Law Committee, after hearing testimony from several CAI members and other interested common interest community members, moved HF1254 to the House Commerce Committee without recommendation, effectively killing the bill in the House. The legislative session then ended on Thursday, May 10 without the matter coming up before the House Commerce Committee or going to a vote of the full House. Other legislative issues, namely the finance bill for the Vikings’ new football stadium, distracted attention from HF1254 and other less prominent bills.

Although the bill (or something like it) may still arise in future legislative sessions, the HOA community in Minnesota can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the matter is at least no longer on the table for this year, and that their rights to effectively regulate and govern their own communities has been left in tact.

Read the full text of HF1254 here.