SOME QUICK RULES ABOUT MAKING RULES

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:

1. Rules must be reasonable: Rules have to have a valid purpose.  They cannot be arbitrary or capricious.  They must be related to the health, welfare and safety of the residents of the community.

For example, a rule that says there can no longer be blue cars in the community would obviously be struck down because it is simply not reasonable.

2. The Rule cannot overrule what is already in the superior document

For example, let’s say that the declaration of condominium specifically states that each unit is allowed to have one pet.  The Board of Directors however now makes a rule that removes the ability of each house to have one pet and says “no more pets” in all units, going forward.  Can the Board do that?  Obviously not, as the declaration of condominium already addresses pet, so in order to change any restrictions on pets, the Board would have to amend the declaration which is obviously a more difficult procedure.  Making a rule only requires a majority of directors.  Changing the declaration usually requires the approval of two-thirds or three quarters of all owners.

3. Check the Bylaws or Articles to Determine the Board’s Power

For example, some documents may only give the Board the power to make rules regarding use of the common elements, while in other associations their documents may give the Board the right to also make rules regarding unit use or parcel use.

4. In both a condominium and an HOA – if there are proposed rules regarding unit use or parcel use, the notice to the community must be must be mailed, delivered, or electronically transmitted to the owners at least 14 days before the meeting.
By Eric Glazer, Esq.
One Comment
  1. Nowhere in our HOA documents (est 1999) does it specify the board’s power to make rules. We have no amenities other than gated entry, drainage and conservation. Does that mean that only what is specified in the documents can be enforced?

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