The Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act (Minnesota Statute § 515B), commonly referred to as MCIOA, is a Minnesota state law that governs the operation of condominium associations and other common interest communities.  MCIOA provides legal authority to address issues that frequently affect common interest communities.

MCIOA applies to all townhome associations and condominium associations created after June 1, 1994 and some parts of MCIOA apply to common interest communities created prior to that date.  Most of MCIOA applies to condominium associations created before June 1, 1994, assuming they were created under an earlier version of Minnesota's condominium laws.  However, MCIOA does not apply to townhome associations created before June 1, 1994, unless they specifically choose to "opt in" to MCIOA by amending their governing documents.

Associations should always look to its governing documents (Articles of Incorporation, Declaration, Bylaws, and Rules and Regulations) for its governance.  Associations which are subject to MCIOA can look to the statue for additional gap-filling powers and definitions where the governing documents are silent.  MCIOA gives clear definitions and provisions related to assessments, maintenance, and repair obligations. It also gives associations additional rights to implement rules and regulations, the ability to assess individual unit owners for repairs and improvements that affect only some units, and special lien and foreclosure rights. Associations should be mindful that the interaction between MCIOA and an association's governing documents is not always clear. It is important to have governing documents that do not conflict with the provisions of MCIOA.

Many associations have governing documents that have not been revised or updated in decades. Even if these associations are subject to some provisions of MCIOA, the governing documents may still be vague, ambiguous, potentially illegal, or may not provide a framework that adequately addresses issues related to a modern association's operation and maintenance. It is often advantageous for an association to adopt a complete set of MCIOA compliant governing documents. By adopting a new set of MCIOA compliant governing documents, an association can "clean up" inconsistencies, draft better rules, and better protect itself. Furthermore, these new documents can be customized to the specific needs of an association.

Smith Jadin Johnson, PLLC, can help your association review its governing documents and, if necessary, amend them. We can create a custom set of governing documents for your association. Our experienced staff offers honest and practical advice to help your association handle all its legal needs.

Contact us for a free initial consultation to discuss the legal issues you are facing. We look forward to building a relationship with you.

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