Hurricane Preparation Shutters language for rules (FL)

This blog post suggests some helpful hurricane preparation language, rules, and advice.  Your association should have a vastly more detailed set of specifications for shutters, etc. base on your history, location, type of construction, and preferences as a group.  However, here are some helpful language to consider when preparing your own set of hurricane preparation […]

Some Quick Rules About Making Rules (FL)

Boards of Florida condominium associations and homeowner associations are allowed to make rules regarding use of the common areas, access to records, the right to speak at meetings,and in a few other areas.  Here are a few rules regarding rules:   Read the article…………………………….

HOA Homefront: Did they change our rules properly? (CA)

Kelly,  If the board decides to change any rules shouldn’t those rule changes be placed on the open general session board meeting agenda for discussion and vote of the board members before being sent out for the 28-day comment period? Is it a violation to make this decision in executive session, without first putting it […]

Unit owner concerned about language added to HOA’s rules

Q: The homeowners association (HOA) of our complex added language to the association’s rules and regulations that I believe is alarming and invalid. I read your column every week and wanted to get your take.  Our HOA has around 70 units. A section of the new rules was adopted without discussion and without consultation with […]

Implementing Condominium Restrictions (FL)

When faced with a reoccurring issue in a condominium, the Board of the Directors may want to consider implementing a restriction as a long term solution to the problem. For example, after increasing complaints of loud music at late hours, the Board of Directors may consider a restriction as to when and to what extent […]

Ask the HOA Expert: Rules With Reason

Homeowner associations (HOAs) are the fastest growing form of home ownership in America. In metropolitan markets, they can account for over 2/3rds of all new home construction. As more buyers choose this form of housing, condos and planned communities are becoming a dominant force to be reckoned with.    Read the article………………………………

Home-Based Business Regulations for Community Associations

Today’s economy has shifted to a hybrid work model, where home offices are used to conduct business as often as work is done in a formal office setting. Consequentially, CAI is updating its public policy regarding home-based businesses in community associations to reflect a new reality for millions of Americans. These updates will address questions […]

What to Know About Changing HOA Rules

Are you wondering about how to go about changes to homeowners association rules and regulations? Changing HOA rules involves a multi-step process. First, a proposal describing the desired changes is submitted and reviewed by the HOA board. Then, a meeting is held where homeowners can provide input. Afterward, a voting process requires a majority vote […]

Adopting Enforceable Rules (OH)

Just as there is truth to the saying that “good fences make good neighbors,” the same may be said about developing and maintaining reasonable and clear rules for a community association. Rules provide clear guidance on what is allowed and expected of owners within a community, and thus allow owners to carry on as they […]

Should Your Association Allow Garage Sales? (OH)

Spring is finally here, which means summer is right around the corner, bringing with it the opening of association swimming pools, more frequent visits from the association’s landscaper, members spending more time outdoors, and…garage sales!   Read the article………………………..

Common Restrictions or Rules: Do They Help? Are They Needed? (IL)

It is not uncommon when drafting an amendment to a declaration or to rules and regulations to have a member of the board of directors or management say to us “we must include this restriction.” When we hear the restriction that must be included, we often think “not really” or “yes, but then you also […]

How Should Community Associations Handle Flags?

Flags are a tough issue for any association looking to promote a tidy, unified curb line. Flags tend to make homes stand out from one another, and some cross the neighborhood style-guide into gaudiness or are so large that they overwhelm the rest of the landscaping.   Read the article………………………..

7 HOA Pool Safety Rules Every Board Should Enforce

Many homeowners associations manage swimming pools that are available for member use. One of the pillars of pool management, though, is promoting the safety of pool goers. To accomplish that, a board must enforce certain HOA pool safety rules.   Read the article………………………..

Adopting Enforceable Rules

Just as there is truth to the saying that “good fences make good neighbors,” the same may be said about developing and maintaining reasonable and clear rules for a community association. Rules provide clear guidance on what is allowed and expected of owners within a community, and thus allow owners to carry on as they […]

What are HOA Commercial Restrictions?

For residential communities and residents, the presence and impact of business employees, customers, and commercial vendors can be significant. However, many governing documents don’t contain provisions that expressly address home or remote work business models increasingly popular in the current economic environment.   Read the article………………………..

Records Retention & Records Retention Policies

Recently, a question came up on a national nonprofit list serve about how long various documents should be kept by an association, such as board meeting materials. Here was my response.  “Your question has both legal and political aspects. Since I don’t practice law in your state, I can’t say what specific language or practice […]

Who’s in Charge of Setting Up the HOA Rules? (CA)

As an HOA board member, it’s important to understand the roles and responsibilities of those in charge of setting up the rules in your community. The primary individuals responsible for this task are the board of directors, also known as the board of trustees or board of managers.  Read the article………………………..

HOA Homefront — Reasonable rules aren’t automatic (CA)

One important board responsibility is to adopt and enforce community rules. Developers provide CC&Rs and Bylaws (usually fairly boilerplate) when creating HOAs but do not typically create operating rules. So, it is up to volunteer boards to create necessary and reasonable rules for their communities.   Read the article………………….

HOA Homefront — Does your HOA have all five of the required rule sets? (CA)

Operating rules are often called “house rules” or “rules and regulations” by associations in California. Rules are modified by HOA Boards under Civil Code Section 4340, and under Civil Code Section 4350(a) must be written. In adopting rule changes, boards must follow the procedure prescribed by Civil Code Section 436   Read the article………………………………

Can They Change the Rules Like That? A Look at Amendment of HOA Restrictions

It is very common for subdivisions and planned communities to be governed by homeowners’ associations – often referred to as “HOAs”. The lots in these subdivisions are also typically subject to covenants, conditions, and restrictions (“CCRs”) contained in the “declarations” that invest the HOAs with the power to govern those communities. Homeowners in these communities […]

HOA Homefront: Rules on changing the rules (CA)

Good community rules and regulations (called operating rules in Civil Code 4340) help set standards and encourage neighborly conduct.  However, good rules also must be enforceable and associations must follow a prescribed rule amendment process. Because rules are amended only by the board, the law requires special procedures to alert members in advance when boards […]

Should Fireworks In An HOA Be Allowed or Banned?

Fireworks are a Fourth of July staple. But, should the board allow fireworks in an HOA? Learn the ins and outs of enforcing rules on fireworks in a planned community.  Read the entire article……………………………….

Tips for making sure your condo or HOA community is aware of new rules

HOA and condo rules work to complement bylaws and covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs). These rules and regulations are intended to help keep communities safe, as well as address potential issues or recurring problems within the community. Some common rules include parking guidelines, trash and recycling procedures, pet restrictions, pool rules, maintenance standards and rental […]

HOA Collection Policy: How To Make And Enforce It

An HOA collection policy is integral to the success of any homeowners association. Without such a policy in place, board members will find it difficult to collect past-due fees, thereby putting the association at risk of financial ruin.  Read the entire article……………………………….

How Arizona HOA Board Members Can Create and Maintain Effective Covenant Enforcement

Homeowners’ associations and board members have a central purpose of building and maintaining a community that members enjoy living in. The main driving force of that structure of community is the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) that establish the rules that the members must follow. In most cases, the Board of Directors also has the […]

Why “Grandfathering” Is Important for HOA Property Policies

When they buy a home in an HOA, nobody thinks, “I’m going to rack up the property violations.  HOA violations are almost always the result of a misunderstanding, oversight, or another communication gap. Homeowners rarely intend to do something to their houses to violate the rules, and HOAs are partly responsible for informing their members […]

How to update association rules (IL)

Q: A couple of board members have been tasked with updating the association’s rules. Can you describe some “best practices” we should employ in this undertaking?  Read the Q&A…………………………………

Updating Your Building’s Pet Policy (NY)

ALL of a coop’s or condo’s policies and procedures should be reviewed every few years. This is to see if they are up to date, or if they have fallen out of compliance either with New York City building regulations or the owner’s wishes and best interests. Here are our tips on what to consider […]

Can An HOA Ban Fireworks?

Fireworks are a common way to celebrate several holidays in the United States. But, apart from providing a spectacular visual display, fireworks can also be dangerous. This leads us to the question — can an HOA ban fireworks?    Read the entire article……………………………….

Resolutions – How A Board Can Make And Keep (AZ)

As we begin to turn our attention to 2022 and the start of a New Year, we often start discussing the time-honored tradition of making a New Year’s resolution. Associations’ Board of Directors have the authority to adopt resolutions, also referred to as the rules, based upon provisions in the association’s governing documents and the […]

Holiday decorations: Creating fair, easy-to-follow, and owner-supported guidelines

A community association in the Tampa Bay area recently made international headlines when it said a homeowner put up his holiday decorations too early. It didn’t help that singer Mariah Carey weighed in on Twitter, saying, “My personal preference is to wait until after Thanksgiving but there’s no regulating festiveness.”   Read the entire article……………………………….

How To Create HOA Rules for Holiday Decorations – That Everyone Can Agree On

As the Holiday season approaches, you can expect your residents will be decorating the halls – and everything else – with their favorite holiday decorations. At the same time, HOA boards may wish for the entire area to follow a consistent decorative style. Unfortunately, that is not how the holidays work. One family may “gingerbread” […]

Amending or adding condo and HOA rules

Condos and HOAs use rules to help support—and fill in the gaps of—the CC&R provisions. Rules regulate things like common areas and amenities, which aren’t included in the CC&Rs (for example, the CC&Rs don’t state the gym’s operating hours). Communities must make those kinds of rules.   Read the entire article……………………………….

What to Ask When Writing a New HOA Rule

The well-being of the homeowner’s association is one of the most important aspects of a board member’s job. However, it is also one of the tougher aspects of an HOA board member’s job, as there will almost always be a portion of the homeowners that do not agree with the rule changes or revisions.    […]

Condominium and Community Governance Documentation: An Opportunity to Educate and Remove Obstacles to Action (TX)

For condominium and community developers, and their lawyers who draft and administer condominium and community governance documents, the tragedy of the Champlain Tower collapse in Surfside, Florida, should give pause. Though condominium or community governance documents cannot prevent a structural failure, there are a few things you should consider when designing and drafting these documents.  […]

Ask a real estate pro: Can a condo community post speed limit signs? (FL)

Q: I live in a small condominium community. Several residents are complaining about speeding vehicles and delivery trucks. We are thinking of posting 15 mph speed limit signs, although the streets outside our community allow faster travel. Can we do this, and what else can we do to slow drivers down and prevent someone from […]

HOA Rules And Regulations 101

Whether you are just moving into an HOA-run community or have already lived in one for years, it is important for you to get to know your HOA rules and regulations. But, what are these rules anyway? And who decides what rules to make?    Read the entire article……………………………….

Avoid this common Homeowners Association dispute

An interesting Homeowners Association dispute that comes up time and time again is one involving landscaping. The reason for this is because while an HOA may have rules stating that a landscape needs to be well-kept or clean in appearance, there is a lot of gray area there.  What one person believes looks good may […]

Is it possible to change community association rules? (MD)

The fair and wise governance of a residential community is not always easy. While you may strive to act with consistency and comply with the governing documents of your community, you may frequently field questions about the practicality, fairness or relevance of the existing covenants and rules. On the other hand, circumstances may arise that […]

Policies the HOA Board Should Consider

Policies help set the tone for how an association is run. From pets to towing to how conflicts of interest are handled, HOA policies are the guidestones for daily association operations and management. So, what policies should HOA boards consider to ensure their association runs effectively and efficiently?   Read the article……………………………….

Unenforceable HOA Terms and How to Avoid Them

As part of the annual review and revision of governing documents, it’s important that HOA boards avoid using terms that will make association rules unenforceable. Doing so can help simplify otherwise complicated and messy conflicts, and can even help avoid costly litigation should the affected homeowner choose to take the dispute to court.   Read the […]

How To Change HOA Rules?

Can a homeowners association change rules? In a word, yes. Homeowners associations do have the authority to change the rules within the community. But, an HOA board may be bound by some conditions before they can change these rules. Before you can learn how to change HOA rules, you must first understand what operating rules […]

Living by the Rules: Making—and Enforcing—House Rules (NY)

It’s a common bit for comedians and TV sitcoms: making fun of the ‘condo police’—those neighbors who take it upon themselves to enforce the rules set up by your condominium association or co-op corporation to regulate community living. They are sticklers for detail: Is your mailbox at the right height? Do you have contraband plantings […]

Trespassing in Your Community Association | How does your HOA address the issue?

Various legal jurisdictions spell out clear guidelines on what amounts to trespass. In this case, trespass involves intruding in owners units (Condo Association) or homes/property (HOA) without their consent. Individuals responsible for this type of illegal intrusion are generally liable for a criminal offense that is punishable by law, though the punishments and legal definition […]

Non-required But Essential Policies (CO)

What are policies and why do they exist? The purpose of policies is to set forth a process to be followed with respect to various issues. A policy, in most cases, is a safety net for associations to ensure everyone is being treated the same and the same processes are followed every time. If an […]

Is Running An HOA Home Business Allowed?

Every homeowners association is different, but most will run into the same basic problems. One such problem has to do with running an HOA home business. More specifically, should the association allow it?   Read the article…………………………..