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Is a Voting Certificate Required If a Unit Is Owned by an LLC?

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Many governing documents include a provision requiring a voting certificate if a unit or parcel is owned by more than one person, a corporation, or another entity. In some cases, there is an exception for spouses, and other times, a voting certificate is only required if the unit or parcel is owned by a corporation.  It is important to look at the actual language of the governing documents to determine when a voting certificate is required.

A question sometimes arises as to whether a voting certificate is required when a unit or parcel is owned by a limited liability company (LLC).  There is at least one arbitration case by the Division of Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes (“Division”) that has addressed this question.  In Norvalis LLC v. Star Lofts on the Bay Condominium Association, Inc., Case No. 16-03-6337, Partial Summary Final Order (December 7, 2016), the arbitrator held that the Bylaws only required a voting certificate if the unit was owned by a corporation and the Petitioner, Norvalis, was a “limited liability company” and not a corporation.  In that case, the managing member was entitled to cast the vote and no voting certificate was required.

Associations should review the voting certificate requirements in their governing documents to make sure that there is an understanding as to when a voting certificate is required.  Associations should also consider amendments to either clarify a voting certificate requirement or remove it altogether.  My general preference is to not include a voting certificate requirement when updating governing documents.

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