One of the most important issues facing community associations is making and enforcing rules. They govern an association’s common areas and activities that have shared elements. Homeowners choose an association that fits their lifestyle based on appearance, amenities and rules. To maintain peace and harmony in the community, effective drafting and proactive enforcement of the HOA rules is essential.
How will the new rule benefit homeowners? As you draft a new rule or consider adopting one, the Board should consider the view of the community at the onset. It’s important to remember that rules must be accepted by the community and be enforced easily to achieve buy-in from owners.
Follow the drafting process. When your community association Board starts considering new rule, take time to identify the problem, and the need for a new rule. Then consult laws and association documents. Depending on the topic, you may also need to discuss the potential rule with your attorney or property management company. Draft the proposed rule after you have all the input and necessary information.
Keep it simple. The definition of a rule is an “understood principle governing specific conduct”. State a rule in clear language and outline the enforcement method. Keep it brief. Make sure that it is understood easily so that community members can comply.
Be flexible. Many HOA documents change little throughout the years. However, rules can become dated or the interests of the community changes. The HOA Board should be flexible enough to make rule changes that reflect the needs of the association.
Introduce the Rule. Circulate the proposed rule to community members for their comments at a scheduled meeting. After discussion, incorporate any changes that were approved as a result of the meeting. Publish the rule with an effective date in all the HOA’s communication channels.
Owners choose to live in community property because rules guide and protect it. That’s why rules (making and consistently enforcing) are one of the most important features of a homeowner’s lifestyle. Following a few simple steps when you’re working with rules can help keep peace and harmony in the community.
Wise Property Solutions serves condominium and homeowners associations by addressing their financial, association and facilities management needs. The only certified and licensed community association management firm serving the Mountain South (Virginia, North & South Carolina, Tennessee) with offices in the Tri-Cities and Knoxville. Wise Property Solutions provides condo and homeowners association management services in Johnson City, TN; Bristol, TN; Kingsport, TN; Knoxville, TN and the surrounding region.