How do you Know if your Board’s Rules are Real?
Posted on April 4, 2017 to Condo/HOA Law
A large aspect of being an Association Board member is enforcing a variety of rules. Common rule enforcement includes limiting the number and types of pets in a unit, not allow short-term lease agreements, and limiting commercial activity. Although many of these restrictions are appropriate and the board has the power to enforce them, it is sometimes discovered that an “established” rule or restriction doesn’t exist. This is a situation in which boards are enforcing fake rules.
Sometimes, but not always, when boards are elected, new directors do not review the association’s declaration, bylaws, and rules (known as the governing documents) and regrettably, instead, rely on the practices of past boards.
What we eventually then see is that at some point an owner or occupant challenges the board’s action and requests that the board provide where and in what document this rule exists. If/when a board cannot establish the authority to enforce a certain restriction, it may inevitably be paying attorney’s fees and costs to the opposing party as well as seeing a steep decline in membership confidence.
Every board of directors would be well advised to undertake an annual rules and regulation audit to determine which restrictions are currently enforceable pursuant to the association’s governing documents as well as current law.