A Declarant is the original developer of the project, whether it is a condominium complex or other type of planned developments. Declarants have special privileges and rights as defined in the governing documents, which they have complete control over when written.
The Declarant (Developer) can, and usually will, give some of their rights to builders. For example, a Declarant could assign some or all their voting power to a new builder. Then the new Builder would have the power or influence to specify who would sit on the Board.
Even though Declarants have power and authority of the Association, a management company is usually hired to manage day-to-day activities. Professional management allows the Declarant to focus on selling the unsold lots and other development tasks.
Once a large percentage (or all) of the properties are sold, the Declarant turns the property over to an Association, governed by a Board of Directors. State laws vary on the percentage needed to cause a turnover.
If Florida, for example, owners are entitled to elect the majority of the Board of Directors of the Association within three months after 90% of the properties have been transferred to owners. The Declaration of the Association can also specify a lower percentage.
This process is commonly referred to as “Transition of Association Control.”
Once the Declarant is out of the development, certain provisions in the Governing Documents related to the Declarant may not be applicable or necessary. They might be cumbersome and unnecessary. Boards can drop these provisions with majority approval of the owners. Many Boards try to make any other updates that need owner approval at the same time as they remove references to the Declarant (Developer).