How Does a Georgia Association Amend its Governing Documents?

The Georgia Property Owners’ Association Act (GPOAA) requires amendment of a declaration via member vote.  The voting majority for an amendment must be at least 2/3, but the declaration can raise it to as high as 80%.  O.C.G.A. §44-3-226.  If the original developer is still holding lots for sale, the developer’s consent is required to amend.  Id.

An amendment can be enacted by the board alone for the limited purpose of conforming the declaration to the GPOAA or other applicable law.  O.C.G.A. §44-3-231(c).  For instance, if an association’s declaration includes a covenant which violates the Fair Housing Act (FHA), the board could amend the declaration to remove the discriminatory provision without a member vote.

In non-GPOAA associations, an amendment cannot be enacted without the consent of every effected owner if the amendment is more restrictive than existing covenants.  O.C.G.A. §44-5-60. Otherwise, the declaration can be amended by member vote as provided in the association’s declaration.

Amendments become effective on the date of recording or on a later date specified in the amendment.  O.C.G.A. §44-3-226(d).  Amendments are presumed to be valid and enforceable if not challenged within one year after recording. O.C.G.A. §44-3-226(f). To find out which laws apply to your community, please read the the Georgia HOA Laws Guide.