Are There Exceptions to the Rules in a Homeowners Association?

May 13, 2016 2:22:09 PM / by HOA Manager

red_pencil_next_to_black_pencilsAssociations have rules to preserve the appearance of the community, protect the value of the common property and individual homes, and make the neighborhood more harmonious for all. What you may not know is that in some rare instances, the homeowners association will waive some rules and regulations.

It’s not a decision the HOA board takes lightly. There’s a fine line between upholding the rules and being flexible as times change and individual issues arise.

If an owner comes to the board asking for a rule to be waived, the board members should consider the individual circumstances, priorities of fellow owners, whether a precedent is being set, and how we’ll document the waiver. The board will carefully review how the rules and restrictions are written and whether there’s any flexibility. The Association has to be very careful about granting waivers so that they don’t set off a domino effect.

Some things, like assessments, will never be up for negotiation. The HOA board may approve payment plans or waive late fees and interest depending on the circumstances, but owners must always pay their share of common expenses.

Remember, it’s crucial that you read the documents in your Association so you’re informed of the rules and regulations in your specific community. If you think any of them are unreasonable, ask other members for their feedback before making a formal request to the Board.

In general, Boards understand the need to be flexible when circumstances warrant. We are all in this living, breathing, changing community, and issues aren’t always black and white. If you think the homeowners association should waive or relax a rule, attend the next meeting or write the board members or manager a letter. They will let you know whether it’s something they can consider.

If the members of your HOA board ever reach a conclusion that a rule needs to be changed, it’s important to do it in the right way. If this job seems too big for your board members to take on, a trustworthy HOA manager can help.

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Topics: HOA Responsibilities, Member of HOA, HOA Rules and Regulations