[login_logout]
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
Blog

PA Act 115 of 2023: Retroactive, or not?

Over the last year, CAI’s Pennsylvania Legislative Action Committee (PA LAC) has received inquiries related to retroactive application of Act 115, which was signed into law by Governor Wolf in late 2022.  Although retroactivity is a complex matter, the LAC offers the following response:

The Contract Clause of the US Constitution says that no state may pass a “Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts”.  This means that our state legislature cannot adopt laws that invalidate existing contracts.  Constitutional protection is confirmed in our Uniform Acts (Uniform Condominium Act (UCA), Real Estate Cooperative Act (RECA), and the Uniform Planned Community Act (UPCA). Sections 3102/4102/5102 of these Acts (which govern retroactivity) clearly state that they “do not invalidate existing provisions of the declaration, code of regulations, bylaws …”. In the case of Act 115 and its changes to the statutes governing condominiums, cooperatives and planned communities, retroactive application only applies where the law does not conflict with a declaration, code of regulations, or bylaws in place prior to May of 2023, when the Act became effective

For example, most association documents do not address or prohibit electronic voting, email notices, and Zoom meeting attendance. To the extent Act 115 applies (and to the extent not inconsistent with existing governing documents), associations can now use these technologies.  Act 115 cannot, however, rewrite existing documents to require different amendment procedures or to require additional meetings – such retroactive application would violate the Contract Clause. The sponsors of Act 115 said as much when they acknowledged its benefits applied only to “new communities”.

Stated simply, Act 115 is not “retroactive”.  While it fully applies to condominiums, cooperatives and planned communities created after its effective date, it does not supersede or invalidate existing provisions of governing documents. 

The LAC hopes you find this explanation helpful and recommends that legal counsel be consulted to review each section of Act 115 for application to existing documents.

SPONSORED