My understanding is that the Rules and Regulations and By-Laws are two separate documents. The Board may amend the Rules and Regulations so long as the amendments do not contradict the By-Laws and the state condominium act.
dmitriy's answer brings up a related question. What takes precedence, Fed Law, State Law, State Regualtions, Condo Docs, condo by-laws, condo rules and regs. (In Florida) Does anyone have certainty on the question? Harold R.
I think your arrangement is correct, Fed Law being most important.
Harold is on the right track in stating the order of precedence, however a few adjustments should be made. Here is the order of precedence and I'm certain this is correct!
Federal Law, State Law, declaration (CCRs), articles of incorporation, bylaws, rules & regulations
Most bylaws - for HOA, condominiums or other similar entities - often have a "Restrictions" section, which are the rules and regulations. Most have a clause which state that the board may make reasonable rules and regulations.
Any association can make up its own rules. The rules cannot contradict or change the rules in the documents (by-laws, CCR's, etc.). Municipal rules/laws are next, then State Law, and finally, Federal Law.
As a manager, I urge board members to do the following before implementing a rule -
1. Is the rule really needed? Is this an isolated incident or truly a community wide problem that needs to be addressed?
2. Is there something in your documents that already addresses this item? A rule may not be needed if it is addressed, but it may need to be further defined.
3. Is this rule desired? I always urge at least a sampling or poll of the membership before instituting a rule.
4. Do you need a rule or is it already addressed by a local ordinance or state law?
Rules that affect a person in which they didn't think the item, which is now a rule, isn't a big deal is not uncommon. Suddenly, it seem onerous or stupid. A big part of instituting a rule is communicating - telling why the rule was implemented and when the rule starts. This goes a long way toward making people feel comfortable. For example, a rule saying dogs must be leashed may not be a bad rule. Maybe it is a local ordinance. Maybe boats before weren't a problem, because it was only a few, but now because times are tough, a lot of people lowered expenses and the community looks like a boat lot.
It is food for thought.
Harold, in Florida your Declaration and the Condo Act (Florida Statute 718) are the 2 primary sources in a condo association. Federal Laws do not enter the equation. If there is a conflict between these 2, the Statutes prevail. All associations in FL are also not for profit corporations. Declarations include Article of Incorporation, Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CCRs), and Bylaws, in that order. Joe's comments are right on as far as Rules & Regulations which can be implemented or changed from time to time by the board.
Remember that laws may not be applicable on private property in which case 'dogs must be leashed' would not be a bad idea if unleashed dogs is a problem on the property.
As to the question of authority - the Federal law always trumps - such as overriding restrictions on use of recreational facilities by children, except in cases of safety such as gym equipment. Rules can be written for instance to require all non-swimmers to be accompanied by a qualified person.
Federal court law is second.
State laws and regulations; State court decisions (usually must be written decisions)
State requirements for home improvements are an area that many directors lack familiarity. Building code changes affect remodeling. Waste management requirements or utility changes (the new light bulb standards) affect the association.
Local (County or City) legislation
For HOAs - recorded legal documents such as plats and/or the Declaration, The Articles of Incorporation (applies only to incorporated associations), The Bylaws and then Rules and Regulations. In most states with HOA legislation, the rules are as enforceable as other docs when not in conflict with any of the above items.
For condos - Plats and the Master Deed (usually only a legal description of the property; however, some attorneys write Declaration similar to an HOA); the Bylaws; then Rules and Regulations.
Plats may be the defining document for common elements of a condo.
Two developments affecting especially the condominiums:
State insurance regulations which override condo documents and are changeable so boards must rely on their insurance agent and attorney for guidance in handling claims by owners.
The second national item is the mortgage industry and its requirements for owners to obtain financing. Underwriting standards are complex and the national political scene must be carefully followed. An example - budgets must reflect Reserve contributions for both FHA and Fannie and Freddie. Also, underwriters are verifying that budgets include the cost of insurance deductibles.
Owners today more than ever must seek directors willing to take educational courses and work with professionals who can provide the knowledge necessary to maintain the property values for all owners. Owners themselves should partake of educational seminars and membership in Community Associations Institute. Directors need to interact with elected officials to express hardship such as high delinquency due to mortgage failures, affecting the members who have little control over the actions of other owners.
Condo and HOA practice is complex, very complicated, and never boring. Professionals must continue their education and boards need to insist on better trained managers assisting them. A friend years ago hit the nail on the head by saying the role of management is to facilitate the board in doing its duty.
I would say Good Luck; however luck alone is not enough.
Nancy said " the Federal law always trumps..." Not so in Florida. There is no need for that to happen. Florida Statutes do not conflict with Federal or States laws. These have been taken into account when the Legislature created our Statutes and whenever the Legislature amends or adds to the Statutes. I am pretty sure that the same applies to other states.
who can you find out if your Homeowners Association is a corporation or is incorporated?
All I have is the Master Deed and the Bylaws. thanks.
Alice, look up your state division of corporations. I am sure they have a website. Here in Florida all community associations had to incorporate effective 1995. An association not registered with a state as a corporation, is not a real corporation. To incorporate an entity must file its "Articles of Incorporation" with the state.
It's Federal Law that required the drains in Florida pools to be changed about two years ago. it superseded State, Docs, By-laws & Rules and Regs. It's federal law regarding the disabled that trumps all. These are only two examples. State law can catch up with Feds, but they cannot change or the Federal law.
John, what is your point ? In Florida you go by our Statutes, period. You do not need to search or try to interpret Federal or state laws. Our Legislature does that every year before they pass a Bill.
our condo president has purchased a dog that is over the height and weight limit according to our bylaws, other board members will not approach the subject. Several unit owners have asked in writting to him to have the dog removed. what do we do now. How do we enforce the rules, when HE is the president?
Could someone please answer these questions please. I am a condo owner living in virginia. We have a BOD and homeowner assoc. Do rules and regs have to be filed with the courts as bylaws do? If they are not filed and its been many years...would they have legal standing to enforce them? Thanks, Jo
You can make all the rules and regs you want but how do you actually enforce them? (Units can be rented for not less than 1 year and no more than 2 years. Many renters have been in the units for over 2 years.)
TRYING TO FIND OUT IF IN RULES AND REGULATION'S HAVE TO BE RECORDED AT THE COUNTY COURTHOUSE!!
I'd say not but you do not say which state you are in. Rules & Regs are created by a Resolution and a vote of the board at a meeting where quorum of BOD is present.
In Iowa, is it ok to add fines to the rules and regs? The rules are already set but there are no consequences recorded. We don't have to have the majority of the owners vote? Just the Board of Directors? Thanks you.
Our condo association handles the rentals of units in the association office and charges 15% of the rental rate for a management fee. In our rules and regulations we had a rule that stated owners in the rental pool had 2 weeks to allow family members to stay and an additional 2 weeks for friends without being charged the 15% management fee. Later it was changed to owners have 2 weeks to use their condo without being charged the management fee. Because it was not being enforced it kind of went away. Because we use this management fee as part of our operating budget we are in a shortfall this year in collections partly because we have not been collecting from owners who give their condo away to others during the high rental season. These people still use the facilities and access the office but pay nothing. Are we allowed to charge owners a fee when they allow others to stay in their condo rent free and in their absence? The association is located in Florida.
Our docs say the proposed budget meeting is a board meeting but Fl statutes say it is an owners meeting. I thought our docs ruled if its in our docs?
Can a person that did not own a unit of the condominium be a Project coordinator and to hire a management company to handle HOA?.
Does a homeowners association have the right to require registration (and identification) of pet dogs to help identify dogs roaming the association's common areas off-leash and unsupervised in violation of association rules?
I live in Iowa, Change in Decorations & By-Laws need 67% of owners approval.. How ever the Rules & Regulations can be altered, changed and added by the board.. But can be reversed by the people by a 66%.. It gets complected.............
can a massachusetts condo assoc outlaw the playing of instruments during the day if the guitar is played at a reasonable - acoustic - noise level?