Recent changes in Indiana’s statutes on condominiums and homeowners associations may make it more difficult for owners to seek judicial remedies for disputes with their property associations. However, other changes in the statutes allow for greater transparency between owners and their associations.
Prior to the changes in 2015, grievances between owners of condominium and homeowner associations were brought directly to a court. Now, detailed procedures for grievance resolutions are codified in the Indiana Code. Both IC 32-25-8.5 and IC 32-25.5-5, enacted on July 1, 2015, contain similar language that require that an owner must exhaust all the grievance resolution procedures described in the chapter (negotiation, mediation, and binding arbitration) before seeking redress through a court. Furthermore, these chapters outline the powers of the homeowner board as well as which party would assume the costs of grievance resolution. By implementing these statutes, it appears that the legislative policy is to encourage parties to resolve differences without resorting to litigation.
IC 32-25-82.5 and IC 32-25.5-3-3 were also amended to allow owners the right to inspect the meeting minutes of the board of directors of the association entitles. This allows for greater transparency and accountability of the governing bodies.
The takeaway from these changes are pretty straightforward – owners have the right to know what is transpiring at association meetings. Additionally, owners are required to exhaust resolution procedures prior to bringing judicial action.