In response to multiple issues concerning the elections over the last 3 years, including the 2021 attempted by-law amendment vote, it is very clear that additional protections are urgently needed to preserve the integrity of the voting process in Society Hill. To that end, several By-Law amendments are proposed, designed to significantly reduce the possibility of fraud in the elections.
The affairs of the Association are governed by a variety of laws and documents. The By-Laws cover condominium governance which includes the Board of Trustees, meetings, elections, committees, owner's rights, and many other details. Of all the relevant documents, this is probably the most important and should be read by all owners and their tenants.
The Associations Bylaws authorize the Board of Trustees to create Resolutions which further clarify the intentions of the Master Deed and Bylaws. One particular resolution, the Rules and Regulations, contains many detailed clarifications and extensions of general Bylaw restrictions. This is a must read for all owners and tenants, as you are expected to be aware of and abide by these rules. The Rules and Regulations were extensively revised in 2006 and adopted at the July 10, 2006 Meeting of the Board of Trustees (the prior 1998 version is still available if you want to see what was changed). In addition to general rules, there are rules pertaining to the recreational facilities such as the swimming pool and tennis courts. Additional information and supporting documents can be found on the Covenants Committee page.
Next in importance is the Master Deed, which describes the property, who owns what, the common and limited common elements, what you can and cannot modify, the Associations responsibilities, and so forth. As with the Bylaws, owners and their tenants should also review this document.
The Society Hill at Piscataway community used to contain a number of affordable housing units which fell under a special set of rules covered in the Affordable Housing Plan (see also the Conceptual Plan for Affordable Housing). Howver, the affordable unit restrictions expired in 2016, after an extensive legal battle with the Township of Piscataway, who attempted to unilaterally extend the restrictions forever.
The original Public Offering Statement was given to the intial purchasers and contains all the governing documents such as the master deed and the by-laws, as well as additional information about the complex. Please be aware that there may be minor deviations between the documents contained in the original public offering statement and the officially recorded versions.
From a legal perspective, the Association's governing body is set up as a non-profit corporation. Non-profit corporations are covered in the New Jersey Statutes Title 15A. Sections 1 through 7 contain the bulk of the law pertaining to condominium associations. If you are really interested in condominium governance it is worthwhile taking a glance through this law. It is a general law applying to all types of non-profit organizations, including churches, political organizations, volunteer fire/first-aid, and so forth. Some issues not covered in the Bylaws and Master Deed will be covered here in title 15A.
The State of New Jersey also has a law pertaining directly to condominium associations, Title 46:8B, otherwise known as the "Condominium Act". This law is more general than the Master Deed and Bylaws as it applies to all condominium associations, and further fills in gaps left by the Master Deed and Bylaws. The complete text of all the state laws can be obtained from the NJ State Legislature (page will open in new window - may take several seconds) WEB site.
Finally, there is the Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act, or PREDFDA, which contains additional rules for how Condominium Associations should be run. There were major revisions to this legislation around 2018, and another revision in 2020. The changes were to address multiple abuses occurring in associations relating to participation in the democratic process and abusive boards.
Here are the proposed by-law amendments from the Board of Trustees in early March 2021. The amendments cover a number of areas, including the annual meeting/elections, collections, and the confiscation of the escrow fund (taking about $500 from each and every owner). These amendments are harmful and/or do not address several matters that should be addressed.
The Finances of the association are supposed to be an open book as far as the homeowners are concerend. In other words, as a homeowner, you have the right to request any financial record you like, and the board has the obligation to let you see it. If they deny you that right, you can file a complaint with the NJ Department of Community Affairs, and they will step in to compel the association to provide you the requested documents. Check out the Association Regulation Unit at the DCA, and their Homeowner Information Guide, which contains all the details about your rights to association finanical records and the procedure and the form to file if you have a complaint.
Copies of our insurance certificates are available.
Downloadable and printable versions of all the previously referenced documents are available in pdf format below. Most of these documements have been coverted to text, so they are searchable. As are result, most of the drawings and exhibits are NOT included here on the WEB site, and are only available in the original scanned version of the document from the county clerk.
Affordable Housing Plan-pdf
Conceptual Plan for Affordable Housing-pdf
Rules and Regulations-pdf
Title15A_1-7, Non-Profit Corporations-pdf
Title46_8B, 1-7, The Condominium Act-pdf