Unlike declarations or even bylaws, an association’s rules are often easy to adopt and amend. Unfortunately, the ease with which new rules can be added, often leads to a multitude of problems for associations. The problems range from rules that are not enforced or inconsistently applied, to overly specific rules that target unpopular unit owners, to rules that violate state and federal laws.
Your association’s rules should be a cohesive set of rules that suit your association as a whole. Careful thought should be given regarding what rules to adopt, and you must take the time to make sure the rules you want to adopt do not conflict with your declaration, bylaws or any state or federal laws. Also, remember that once you adopt a rule, you are obligated to enforce it, and you must enforce it uniformly.
Here are some basic recommendations for association rules.
- Rules must not conflict with your declaration or bylaws or other applicable law.
- Rules must be uniformly enforced even if that means enforcing them against board members.
- Rules should be clear and concise.
- Rules are unenforceable if not properly adopted and published to all owners.
- More rules are not always better.
- Rules should be for the good of the association as a whole and not to address the pet peeve of a single owner or board member.
Rules are easy to adopt and hard to properly and consistently enforce. Remember, the more rules you adopt, the more administrative time your board or management company will spend monitoring compliance and enforcing violations. Keep that in mind, and choose your rules wisely.