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Drafting Rules
How Community Associations Maintain Peace & Harmony

ISBN: 0-944715-88-5
2004, 34 pages
Author(s): Gurdon H. Buck
Product Format: Book
Item #: 5885
Members: USD $15.00
Non-Members: USD $25.00
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Nothing can cause ill will within the community like unclear, unfocused rules. This guide will not only help ensure that your rules are easily obeyed and enforceable, it will also provide input for rules you may have overlooked. Covers the legal basis for rule making, offers guidelines, and contains an Appendix with sample community association rules that cover practically everything from rubbish to the swimming pool.

Drafting Rules is one of six components in the CMCA Study Kit [M5134].

Content

Acknowledgements

Introduction—Background and Key Points

Chapter 1—Legal Basis for Rule-Making Powers
In-Unit Regulation
Condominium Law
Common Law
Chapter 2—Rule Development
Writing and Amending Rules

Chapter 3—The Components of a Good Rule

Chapter 4—Guidelines, Edicts, and Decrees
Guidelines
Edicts and Decrees

Appendix: Community Association Village, Inc. Rules


Excerpt
 
Introduction--Background and Key Points
 
Rules and regulations are regulatory imperatives that are derived from the authority of the association, and usually govern activities that occur in a community's common areas and elements. Rules can be enacted by the executive board or board of directors. With the passage of the 1994 amendment to the Uniform Common Interest Act, rules may also be imposed, if the declaration permits, on use or occupancy within the units if the rules (i) prevent a use that violates the declaration, (ii) adversely affect the use and enjoyment of other units, or (iii) restrict the leasing to conform to institutional lender requirements. Since rules protect owner's property and peace of mind, they are one of the most important aspects of a well-run community.
 
To write rules that accomplish their goals and that are enforceable, developers, association managers, boards of directors, and attorneys should remember that the rule must be accepted by the community, obeyed and enforced easily, and efficient. This report will help these individuals to write rules that are both acceptable to the board and to the community.
 
Put Community First
 
Bearing in mind what is acceptable to the community is an essential component in making and enforcing rules. Putting the community first should always be the board's priority. Indeed, rules are necessary only to the extent that people are contributing to, sharing in, and benefiting from use of the resources owned in common on an equitable basis in a community.
 
Be Reasonable
 
Making and enforcing rules is a process best approached by simply being reasonable. Boards should be flexible enough to allow rules to be changed and even rescinded as the needs and interests of the community evolve.
 
Key Points
 
Rules get their authority from the association's enabling statutes and governing documents.
 
Only enact rules when they are necessary. Regulate as few activities as possible.
 
The association should be fair and reasonable and act in the best interests of the community when enacting and amending rules.
 
The process of drafting rules requires (1) identification of the problem, (2) a need for the rule, (3) research of enabling laws, association documents, existing association rules, and previous association actions, and (4) preparation of the proposed rule.
 
When developing a rule, a board should (1) circulate the proposal to owners and residents and allow them to comment, (2) discuss the rule at an open meeting, (3) publish the final rule before its effective date, and (4) regularly review and consolidate amendments.
 
Include an effective date, a table of contents, and a subject index with the compilation of the rules.
 
When publishing rules, clearly distinguish information that is intended to guide and help members from rules that carry a sanction for violation.
 
Write rules that residents can obey without drastically changing their life-style.
 
State rules in positive terms.
 
Rules should be easy to understand.
 
Rules should be brief.

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