This year, the Wisconsin State Legislature gave quite the New Year’s gift to Wisconsin homeowners associations (HOAs). Beginning January 1, 2023, HOAs are now required to file specific notices with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (WDFI) as a result of 2021 Wisconsin Act 199 (the “Act”). While certain portions of the Act related to publishing and the availability of certain HOA information became effective in March of 2022, the new WDFI filing requirements became effective as of January 1, 2023.
The Act instructed the WDFI to establish a statewide filing system that somewhat mirrors the existing WDFI system for corporate records. HOAs will use this filing system to file the newly required public notices under the Act (the “Notice”). The Notice must include the following information about the HOA:
- The name and mailing address of the HOA, as well as the name and address of any management company for the HOA;
- The name of the county and municipality where the HOA is located; and
- The name, mailing address, and email address or daytime phone number of an individual authorized to respond on behalf of the HOA for requests for information related to the HOA, including copies of covenants and restrictions.
Newly formed HOAs are required to file a Notice within 30 days after creation. According to the WDFI, existing HOAs must file their initial Notice by January 13, 2023.
Filing the Notice is not a one-time thing for HOAs. At a minimum, it is an annual process. Each HOA is required to file a renewal Notice each year with the WDFI. Additionally, if any of the information contained in the prior Notice changes, HOAs are required to file an amendment correcting the information.
Failing to file a Notice carries significant penalties for the offending HOA. Until the HOA files the required Notice, they are unable to charge any late fee or other fine for unpaid assessments and any fee for a transfer of ownership of a residential property. Therefore, HOAs must be careful to follow these new filing requirements.
The Rose & deJong, S.C. team has a wealth of experience and a diverse range of skills that allow us to tackle various challenges. Whether you have a specific question related to the new filing requirements or you are looking for long-term support, we are ready to assist you every step of the way. With years of experience, we have the knowledge and expertise to provide you with effective solutions and guidance.