2015 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
703.15 Association of unit owners.
703.15 Association of unit owners.
703.15(1) (1) Legal entity. The affairs of every condominium shall be governed by an association that, even if unincorporated, is constituted a legal entity for all purposes. Except for matters reserved to the association members or unit owners by this chapter, the declaration, or the bylaws, all policy and operational decisions of the association, including interpretation of the condominium instruments, bylaws, rules, and other documents relating to the condominium or the association, shall be made by its board of directors. This subsection does not affect the deference accorded to, or the standard of review of, an action of the board of directors by a court.
703.15(2) (2) Organization of association.
703.15(2)(a)(a) Establishment. Every declarant shall establish an association to govern the condominium not later than the date of the first conveyance of a unit to a purchaser. The association shall be organized as a profit or nonprofit corporation or as an unincorporated association. After it is organized, the membership of the association shall at all times consist exclusively of all of the unit owners.
703.15(2)(b) (b) Power and responsibility prior to establishment. Until an association is established, a declarant has the power and responsibility to act in all instances where this chapter, any other provision of the law, or the declaration require action by the association or its officers.
703.15(2)(c) (c) Declarant control.
703.15(2)(c)1.1. Except as provided in par. (d), a declarant may authorize the declarant or persons designated by him or her to appoint and remove the officers of the association or to exercise the powers and responsibilities otherwise assigned by the declaration or this chapter to the association or its officers. A declaration may not authorize any declarant control of the association for a period exceeding the earlier of any of the following:
703.15(2)(c)1.a. a. Ten years in the case of an expandable condominium.
703.15(2)(c)1.b. b. Three years in the case of any other condominium.
703.15(2)(c)1.c. c. Thirty days after the conveyance of 75% of the common element interest to purchasers.
703.15(2)(c)2. 2. The period of declarant control begins on the date that the first condominium unit is conveyed by a declarant to any person other than the declarant. If there is any other unit owner other than a declarant, a declaration may not be amended to increase the scope or the period of the declarant control.
703.15(2)(d) (d) Meeting to elect directors. Prior to the conveyance of 25% of the common element interest to purchasers, an association shall hold a meeting and the unit owners other than the declarant shall elect at least 25% of the directors of the executive board. Prior to the conveyance of 50% of the common element interest to purchasers, an association shall hold a meeting and the unit owners other than the declarant shall elect at least 33 1/3% of the directors of the executive board.
703.15(2)(e) (e) Calculation of percentage. The calculation of the percentage of common element interest conveyed to purchasers under pars. (c) and (d) shall be based on the percentage of undivided interest appertaining to each unit which has been conveyed assuming that all the units to be completed are included in the condominium.
703.15(2)(f) (f) Elections after expiration of declarant control. Not later than 45 days after the expiration of any period of declarant control, an association shall hold a meeting and the unit owners shall elect an executive board of at least 3 directors and officers of the association. The directors and officers shall take office upon election.
703.15(3) (3) Powers of the association.
703.15(3)(a)(a) Powers. An association has the power to:
703.15(3)(a)1. 1. Adopt budgets for revenues, expenditures and reserves and levy and collect assessments for common expenses from unit owners;
703.15(3)(a)2. 2. Employ and dismiss employees and agents;
703.15(3)(a)3. 3. Sue on behalf of all unit owners; and
703.15(3)(a)4. 4. Exercise any other power conferred by the condominium instruments or bylaws.
703.15(3)(b) (b) Conditional powers. Subject to any restrictions and limitations specified by the declaration, an association may:
703.15(3)(b)1. 1. Make contracts and incur liabilities, including borrowing funds in the name of the association in the manner specified in the bylaws under s. 703.10 (2) (f).
703.15(3)(b)2. 2. Regulate and impose charges for the use of common elements.
703.15(3)(b)3. 3. Cause additional improvements to be made as a part of the common elements.
703.15(3)(b)4. 4. Acquire, hold, encumber and convey any right, title or interest in or to real property.
703.15(3)(b)5. 5. Grant easements through or over the common elements.
703.15(3)(b)6. 6. Receive any income derived from payments, fees or charges for the use, rental or operation of the common elements.
703.15(3)(b)7. 7. Grant or withhold approval of any action by a unit owner or other person which would change the exterior appearance of the unit or of any other portion of the condominium.
703.15(3)(b)8. 8. Purchase goods and services jointly with other condominium associations or other persons.
703.15(4) (4) Roster of unit owners; meetings of association.
703.15(4)(a)(a) An association shall maintain a current roster of names and addresses of every unit owner to which notice of meetings of the association shall be sent.
703.15(4)(b) (b) Every unit owner shall furnish the association with his or her name and current mailing address. No unit owner may vote at meetings of the association until this information is furnished.
703.15(4)(c) (c) No regular or special meeting of the association may be held except on at least 10 days' written notice delivered or mailed to every unit owner at the address shown on the roster or unless waivers are duly executed by all unit owners.
703.15(4)(d)1.1. At meetings of the association every unit owner is entitled to cast the number of votes appurtenant to his or her unit, as established in the declaration under s. 703.09 (1) (f). Unit owners may vote by proxy, but, the proxy is effective only for a maximum period of 180 days following its issuance, unless granted to a mortgagee or lessee. If only one of multiple owners of a unit is present at a meeting of the association, the owner is entitled to cast the votes allocated to that unit.
703.15(4)(d)2. 2. If more than one of the multiple owners is present, the votes allocated to that unit may be cast proportionally among the owners unless the condominium instruments expressly provide otherwise, but unanimous agreement is conclusively presumed if any one of them purports to cast the votes allocated to that unit without protest being made promptly by any of the others to the person presiding over the meeting or until any one of the multiple owners files a statement with the secretary of the association stating that thereafter the vote must be cast proportionally.
703.15(4)(e) (e) Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, and subject to provisions in the bylaws requiring a different majority, decisions of an association shall be made on a majority of votes of the unit owners present and voting.
703.15(5) (5) Unit owner's interest in association's property. No unit owner may have any right, title or interest in any property owned by the association other than as holder of a percentage interest in common elements appurtenant to its unit.
Although the statutory definition of a "unit" under s. 703.02 (15) controls, it may be altered by other statutory provisions that look specifically to the declaration to define the substantive rights and obligations of unit owners. Sub. (4) (d) 1. explicitly allows the declaration to determine the number of votes appurtenant to each platted unit. Northernaire Resort & Spa, LLC v. Northernaire Condominium Association, Inc. 2013 WI App 116, 351 Wis. 2d 156, 839 N.W.2d 116, 12-1707.
Advising Developers in Operating Community Associations. Pardon. Wis. Law. March 2004.
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