Everything you need to know about advertising, buying and selling houses in
Upper Greenwood Lake

Disclosure to Buyers:

Realtors are responsible to disclose this information to potential buyers. Prior to closing on a property on Upper Greenwood Lake, please have the buyers and / or their attorney contact the UGLPOA office to make sure there are no outstanding easement fees owed.

The UGLPOA welcomes comments, questions or suggestions and may be reached by phone at 973-853-4262 or by e-mail at office@uglpoa.com.


Background:

Upper Greenwood Lake is a private lake and access is restricted to easement holders. The UGLPOA is a private association whose goal is to maintain the health and well-being of Upper Greenwood Lake and its parklands. UGLPOA owns and maintains the beach, clubhouse and other buildings.

Easement:

Most properties in Upper Greenwood Lake are subject to easement fees. There are a few exceptions and they include properties that were privately owned and not included in the subdivisions that took place in the early 1930’s. All other property owners in the area are automatically members of the easement association and must pay annual fees to the association for the upkeep of the lake and common properties known as Parklands.

In 1984, the UGLPOA began what is now known as the Easement Fund. This fund is designed to collect and administer money for the basic needs of Upper Greenwood Lake, such as property taxes on Upper Greenwood Lake, insurance, administration, security and maintenance. People against Easement vs. the UGLPOA, a suit filed in 1988 at Passaic County Court found for UGLPOA. Judge Mandack’s judgment in this case states that all property owners having an easement right to UGL for recreational use must pay their fair share of repair and maintenance costs. The Annual Fee is determined at the annual meeting of the membership and the fee may change from year to year dependent on the needs of the lake and parklands.

All owners of properties that are subject to the easement fees MUST pay the fees each year or be subject to collection inclusive of interest and collection fees. Easement fees are no different than property taxes. They must be paid annually. Please see our Bylaws and Rules and Regulations, for more information. The easement rights were written into the original deeds of all affected properties. If a property has outstanding unpaid easement fees, the sale of that property cannot be completed until the fees are paid up to date. If the property is sold with outstanding easement fees and interest, all parties may be subject to litigation including the new owners. If this property is transferred with an outstanding balance, the new owners will be responsible for all past dues and late fees as per our bylaws. New owners will also not be offered membership if the property is not in good standing. Not all lawyers are necessarily aware of the easement and if you are considering buying a property in the area, you may want to make sure of the status of fees to protect your interest. To find out if there are outstanding unpaid fees on a specific property you may email or call the POA office at 973-853-4262.

Easement holders have a deeded right to “boat, bathe and fish” in Upper Greenwood Lake on a daily basis. Easement holders do not have the right to keep a boat on the lake overnight. Owning or renting a house in the easement area plus being a member of the UGLPOA does mean you have the right to a dock. However, that does not necessarily mean you will get one due to the fact docks are subject to the limited dock spaces available. If an owner wants to apply for a dock space or to use the beach it is necessary to join UGLPOA.


UGLPOA Membership:

UGLPOA membership is non-transferable and new owners should not reimburse sellers for POA membership at the time of sale. Easement fees, however, are transferable. UGLPOA membership requires additional dues beyond the Easement Assessment. Members are eligible to be elected to the Board of Trustees as well as volunteer to work on committees. UGLPOA members in good standing can apply for dock space, which is subject to availability and approval; as well as use the beach. UGLPOA members also receive a discount on clubhouse rentals and free swim lessons for children at the beach in the summer.


Docks

Docks: UGLPOA members do not automatically have the right to build, own or use a dock. It is necessary to be a member of the UGLPOA in order to build or own a dock. A separate dock application must be completed, submitted and approved with a location assigned by the Dock Committee. The construction and maintenance of the dock is the responsibility of the dock owner. Dock owners that do not maintain their docks can lose their privilege and have the space reassigned. If there is no public access to the dock space, the space will not be assigned to anyone other than the property owner. If the property owner does not want a dock, any existing dock must be removed and the space will not be reassigned. Unauthorized docks will be removed at the owner’s expense!

Dock spaces do not automatically go with the sale of a house. New owners may apply for a dock space and they will be assigned a dock in the order that their application was received. In most cases the UGLPOA Dock Committee tries to assign docks close and convenient for the homeowner. If the previous owners leave their dock, the member assigned to that dock space has the option of keeping it or replacing it with a new one. Realtors should note that a house should not be advertised, “with dock”.


Parklands:

Parklands: There is a strip of parkland along most of the shoreline of the lake that is common property of the UGLPOA. This parkland is not and cannot be sold with an individual house. The average distance of parklands from the water to the owners land is 3 feet, but this distance varies widely. Many houses are advertised as being lakefront, when in fact the property ends at the parklands, not at the water’s edge. A survey will show the actual boundaries. No permanent structures can be built on parklands. This includes decks, wells, septic tanks, walls and fences or additions to homes. Anyone owning or building such encroachments will be asked to remove them or they will be removed by the POA.