Q&A: Which Law is the Right Law to Follow?

Q. My condo was formed in 1974 under the old condo law, RSA 479. The new condo law, RSA 356, was passed in 1977. If we update our condo docs now, which law are we required to follow? Note we are exempted from 356 under paragraphs I, II, III in RSA 356. But once we start amending our docs, which law prevails?

                   —Confused Board Member

A. “There is nothing in the New Hampshire Condominium Act that notes if an association is formed under the precursor to RSA 356-B, RSA 479-a, the Land Use Act, that it has to abide by the terms of the Condominium Act, but the practical reality is that it would,” says attorney Robert E. Ducharme of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

“The Condominium Act notes that amendments to a declaration or bylaws created under the Land Use Act, RSA 479-A, are not bound by the terms of the Condominium Act unless the amendment has to do with ‘creating 10 or more additional units’ in which case the terms of the Condominium Act would apply to the Amendment.  So, no, an amendment to documents created under RSA 479-A would generally not be bound by the terms of the Condominium Act.

“But three points are worth briefly noting: First, all amendments I have seen to documents created under the Land Use Act contain language binding them to the updated Condominium Act.

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