Sussex Realtors to address DUCIOA during free September class

by Dave on August 24, 2010

What is the Delaware Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act (DUCIOA) and how does it affect First State homeowners who live within common interest communities? Tough question, and one that all too often goes unanswered.

The Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) invites all Delaware residents to their Georgetown-area headquarters on Wednesday, Sept. 22, to learn more about this recently enacted law, what it entails and what all homeowners must do to be compliant.

“As Realtors, we’ve found that this is not a popular law, nor is it one that people fully understand,” says Judy Dean, 2010 president of SCAOR.

“New changes to this law went into affect on Aug. 11 and people need to be aware of what these changes mean for them. If you live in a common interest community in Delaware, you must learn how to be compliant with this very complex piece of legislation.”

Passed on Oct. 31, 2008 by former Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and revised by Gov. Jack Markell last summer, DUCIOA regulates the creation and operation of common interest communities containing residential property. It is a rewrite of the Unit Property Act, Delaware’s condominium law for decades, and is meant to bring clarity to the many technical questions inherent in the previous legislation.

Many of the changes made to DUCIOA were adopted after input from homeowners, condominium boards, condominium managers, builders and Realtors.

“The biggest problem we’ve encountered, as Realtors, is that people simply don’t understand this law and what it means for them,” says Dean.

“We hope to bring some clarity to that situation on Sept. 22. DUCIOA is definitely a difficult law to understand, but we hope our experts can shed some light on the situation.”

A few of the elements of the DUCIOA which affect all homeowners within Delaware’s planned communities include:

• Contents of the declarations, bylaws and plans. These documents are all now subject to requirements.
• Development rights and special declarant rights. There are now specific provisions regarding the reservation of development rights and their regulation and limitation.
• Assessments and liens. The new law establishes a statutory lien for unpaid assessments and provides for collection methods.
• Protections for purchasers. The legislation obligates the declarant to provide a public offering statement containing information about the common interest community and establishes a 15 day rescission period for the purchaser.
• Insurance. There are now more detailed insurance provisions applicable to common interest communities and the types of insurance that should be obtained by the homeowner’s association.

There are many more parts of this law, however, that First State homeowners need to be aware of, which is why the leadership of SCAOR has scheduled its third informational session regarding DUCIOA. This third session is designed as a free class, taught by experts in the field.

“People just are not complying with this new law, some because they don’t understand it and many more because they don’t feel it applies to them,” says Dean. “Let me be clear on this point. If you live in a common interest community that contains residential property, and that includes condominiums, townhouses and planned communities, you must adhere to the provisions of DUCIOA. Join us on Sept. 22 at 5 p.m. to learn what this means for you and your family.”

This free class offered by the Sussex County Association of Realtors will be held at SCAOR’s headquarters complex on Route 9, just a couple of miles east of Georgetown. To reserve a space in the class, or for more information, contact TracyLee Elmore at tracylee@scaor.com or 855-2300, ext. 205.

SCAOR was chartered in 1949 and has steadily grown in size, scope and mission during its 61 years in Sussex County. It is a professional trade association with goals of carrying out a program of education and advocacy for real estate in the county.

SCAOR is a resource for the public, as well as a recognized advocate for property rights and property owners in Sussex County. The association also monitors legislative issues on the local, state and national levels that may impact home ownership in the area.

Press release from SCAOR.

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