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Reinventing the Rules

ISBN: 0-944715-75-3
2002, 64 pages
1st edition
Author(s): Lucia Anna Trigiani
Product Format: Book
Item #: 5753
Members-Only Sale: USD $10.00
Members: USD $15.00
Non-Members: USD $25.00
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The best thing—and the worst thing—about community-association living is The Rules.

  • Are your rules reasonable and necessary?
  • Can you make exceptions and still maintain your duty to the association?
  • Are your procedures legal?
  • What are the costs of battling with residents instead of being flexible?
  • Why are words like "enforce," "penalty," "punishment," and "power," a problem for community associations?

Reinventing the rules is a challenge that must be met in order to put our communities first.

Contents

Chapter 1—Why We Need Rules

Why Are Associations Allowed To Make Rules?
Association Rules Are Subject to Law
Federal Laws and Regulations State Statutes
Local Ordinances
Governing Documents
Being Reasonable About Rules Is Good Business
Why Are Rules Generally Dreaded?

Chapter 2—Renovating Old Rules

Does the Rule Make Sense?
Is This the Least Restrictive Way To Approach the Issue?
Is the Rule Still Needed? Does It Address a Current Problem?
Is it Acceptable to Residents?
Is Compliance Relatively Easy? Is It Possible?
Does the Rule Create New Problems?
Is the Rule Getting the Results You Want?
Is the Rule Enforceable?
Is the Rule Legal?
Renovating Old Rules Checklist
Changing With the Times

Chapter 3—Putting New Rules Into Practice

What Does It Mean To Be Reasonable?
Is a Rule Really Necessary
Flowchart: Deciding if a Rule Is Really Necessary
Pre-Emptive Rule Making
Ripples Across the Community
Putting Pen to Paper
State the Rule in Plain Language
Include the Reason for the Rule
State the Rule Positively
Explain the Consequences of Noncompliance
Don't Be Too Specific or Too Broad
The Grandfather Clause
Adopting New Rules
What Does Your State Say About Adopting Rules?
Listen to the Community
Adopt Officially
Distribute and Publicize
Flowchart: Adopting New Rules

Chapter 4—Achieving Compliance

Common-Sense Approaches to Voluntary Compliance
Getting the Association Involved
The Board's Role
Committee's and Manager's Roles
Local Government's Role
Neighbor-to-Neighbor Disputes
Identifying and Verifying Rules Violations
Gather the Facts
Conduct Periodic Physical Inspections
Resident Input
Verify Complaints
Achieving Compliance Informally
Personal Contact
The First Written Notice
Making Exceptions
Consistency
Checklist: Facilitating Compliance Informally
The Grace Period
The Seven Deadly Sins of Enforcement
Formal Enforcement
Due Process
Develop Due-Process Procedures
Flowchart: Due Process Procedure
Essentials of Due Process
Checklist: How To Conduct a Hearing
Consequences
Monetary Consequences
Suspending Privileges
Unacceptable Consequences
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Mediation
Where to Find a Mediator
Arbitration
Using the Judicial System to Achieve Compliance
Sample Script: Due Process Hearing

Chapter 5—Educating Residents About Rules

Delivering the Information
Resale Packages and Association Handbooks
Getting Past the Red Tape
The Reader-Friendly Test for Resale Packages
New Resident Orientations
Sample Agenda for New Resident Orientation
Constant Reminders
Newsletters
Signs
Handbooks
Web sites
Others
Special Considerations

Chapter 6—Accommodating the Pink Flamingo

Strategies for Being Reasonable About
Children
Pets
Flags
Design Review
Parking

Appendix: Community Association Member's and Residents' Bill of Rights

 

Excerpt
Preface
 
The best thing--and the worst thing--about community-association living is The Rules.
 
Rules do more to enhance property value and promote community harmony than any other factor. Rules also do more than anything else to enhance negative coverage on the evening news and create division in a community.
 
In this book, we'll attempt to do away with the worst thing--and promote the best thing--about community living by showing you how to look at your rules from a new perspective. We have intentionally omitted sample rules and boilerplate language from this book because, in order to reinvent rules, community association leaders must start with a blank page. However, Chapter six does illustrate our points with detailed discussions of six of the most challenging rules.
 
In order to help you fill in your blank page:
 
We're going to ask you to look at the rules you already have and decide if they're reasonable and necessary.
 
We're going to ask you to look at the way you apply those rules and again decide if you're being reasonable. Community association leaders sometimes seem to think that making exceptions to the rules or being flexible in their application equates with a failure to carry out their duties to the association. We hope to show you how to achieve a balance.
 
We're going to ask you to look at the way you develop new rules and figure out if you're on the right track.
 
We're going to ask you to look at your procedures and consider ways to make sure they're as reasonable as they are legal. No, you don't need to be a judge to do this.
 
We're going to ask you to look at the cost to the community--in dollars and in sense--of battling with residents instead of being flexible and fair.
 
We're going to ask you to think in new terms--literally--so that the worst thing about community association living can be forgotten. We've made it a point in this book to avoid words like "enforce," "penalty," "punishment," "power," and other words that have harsh or unnecessarily negative connotations. Yes, it's just semantics, but words have the power to create paradigms--and these particular words have created the policing paradigm, at worst, and the parenting paradigm, at best, that have been so problematic for community associations.
 
And, above all, we're going to ask you to be reasonable in everything you do in governing and managing your community association--especially where rules are involved.
 
That's how you reinvent the rules--by being reasonable.
 
As you might have noticed, the importance of being reasonable is central to this book. Indeed, the inspiration, jumping-off point, and guiding star for Reinventing the Rules is a CAI book with the very title, Be Reasonable: How Community Associations Can Enforce Rules Without Antagonizing Residents, Going to Court, or Starting World War III, by Kenneth Budd. Another influence, equally important, is Drafting Rules, by Gurdon Buck.
 
Standing on the shoulders of these formative works, the challenge became reinterpreting the basic principles behind The Rules within the context of what it means to be reasonable. It's a challenge that every community association faces today, and one that must be met if we truly want to put our communities first.
 

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