Is my association governed under the Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act (MCIOA)?

While I am tempted to give the common legal answer here – “it depends,” I will instead provide a brief overview of which associations are governed under MCIOA (or “the Act”). MCIOA is located in section 515B of the Minnesota Statutes. Minn. Stat. §515B-1.102 provides the gritty details on which associations are governed by the Act, which ones are not and if only certain sections of the Act apply. Although there are exceptions, the easiest way to break down the governed/not governed by MCIOA is with these simple rules:

  1. If the association was created on or after June 1, 1994, it is, by default, governed under MCIOA;
  2. If the association is a condominium, and not a townhome or a single family association, it is, by default, governed under MCIOA regardless of when it was created;
  3. If the association is a single family or a townhome association and it was created before June 1, 1994, it is NOT governed by MCIOA unless the association votes to amend its declaration and “opt-in” to MCIOA.

Again, as with all rules, there are exceptions. However, these three rules cover most associations in Minnesota. Here are some examples to show how the rules play out in more practical terms:

A condominium association that was created in 1978 is governed by the Act. (See Rule #2)
A townhome association created in 2001 is governed by the Act. (See Rule #1)
A townhome association created in 1991 is not governed by the Act unless it has taken specific actions to amend its declaration for the purpose of opting-in to the Act. (See Rule #3)

Whether your association is or is not governed by MCIOA, keep in mind that all associations are required to comply with the Minnesota Nonprofit Corporation Act, which is found at Minn. Stat. §317A. These statutes provide details on running a conforming nonprofit corporation in Minnesota and must be followed.

A version of this article first appeared in the "Ask the Attorney" column (written by Nigel Mendez) in the Minnesota Community Living magazine published by CAI-MN.