Homeowners associations have a number of rules and regulations that members are asked to observe so that everyone in the association can maintain their property values and quality of life. The association should always try to be reasonable with its rules by following the guidelines below.
Are the homeowners association rules reasonable in your community?
- The association should make every effort to enforce rules uniformly and consistently, taking into account the consequences that may arise if this is not practiced routinely, such as warnings and fines.
- Developing rules for the sake of having rules is unnecessary. The homeowners association should develop rules only if they are really necessary and create a purpose.
- All association rules are based on proper authority—either by the governing documents, state or local law.
- The association does not make rules to limit member activities. It's trying to ensure that each resident can enjoy the community free from the disruptive or harmful behavior of others. Its purpose is preserving the quality of life in the community.
- The association really does not want to punish anyone. It tries to make rules that encourage understanding and compliance.
- Even though homeowners are responsible to know and follow the rules, it's a good practice to remind residents to review the rules and regulations that are in place.
- The HOA board should follow legal requirements to inform homeowners about any changes made to the rules and regulations.
- The board should make sure it’s adopting policies it can enforce that are fair and reasonable.
- HOA rules are not a “quick fix” for problems a board is having with only a few homeowners.
If a member believes a rule fails the “reasonable” test, the HOA board should be notified at the next meeting. The board should then review the rule, listen to comments from the residents in the community, and consider how they can improve upon it.
The rules of a homeowners association are in place to benefit all members in the community. Consistency and fairness will aid in the quality of life in the association. The rules are in place for a reason and if everyone follows the guidelines, the outcome will prove to be a positive place to live.