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Eustace Bill to Improve Resident Voting Participation Rights in Certain Real estate Developments Clears Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrat Timothy Eustace (D-Bergen, Passaic) to enhance resident voting participation rights in common interest communities was approved by an Assembly panel on Monday.

The bill (A-4091) enhances resident voting participation rights in common interest communities.

“New Jersey contains many planned real estate developments in which an association, through its executive board, is responsible for decisions concerning cost of assessments, the maintenance and use of common areas and facilities within the community as well as other matters of importance to unit owners and tenants,” said Eustace. “This legislation will ensure fairness in the voting process.”

The bill confines voting eligibility to the association members and voting eligible tenants, meaning more than one person per unit could potentially have voting rights. However, the voting influence, as stated in the bill, would not be altered by the number of association members and voting-eligible tenants connected to the unit.

The bill requires that the executive board will ensure that notice of any executive board election is provided to all association members, and voting eligible tenants, at least 30 days prior to the election. The bill further requires that each resident-owner in good standing will have the authority to (1) nominate oneself or any other resident-owner in good standing to run for any position on the executive board; (2) accept a nomination and run for any membership position on the executive board. The bylaws may permit others to make nominations and run for executive board positions. The legislation also requires common interest communities to also allow all association members in good standing, and voting-eligible tenants, to vote in each election for each position of membership on the executive board. Certain types of association, however are exempted from some of these requirements.

The measure was approved by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee and now it will be further considered by the Assembly Speaker.