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How often can condo association or HOA rules be updated?

Posted on Fri, Oct 14, 2011 @ 09:23 AM

How often can rules and regulations be updated? I just took over the management of my condo association and it appears that these have not been updated since 2000. I feel like there are a lot of things that should be looked at but am not sure how to go about doing this. Thank you for any information that you can offer.



Rules and regulations can be updated as often as the board feels necessary.  
If you are talking updating Bylaws or CC&Rs it would require all owners vote and an approval according to your existing documents. Other rules can be updated by the board, but that could be a bit harder to enforce if it ever gets to court.

posted @ Friday, October 14, 2011 9:40 AM by Jeff Ross

In Florida Rules and Regulations can be changed by the Board of Directors. Make sure that any changes are communicated ("published")to the Members. 
DOCs (Declaration of Condominium): 
DOCs may be changed only with the approval of 60% of the members in our Association. I do not believe that the State's requirement is more stringent. But if it were more stringent the State would prevail.

posted @ Friday, October 14, 2011 9:59 AM by John Bruzza Mitchell

Jeff some state condominium acts require a majority vote of the council of unit owners to change a rule. Change of the bylaws requires a 66.67% majority vote of the council of unit owners. I personally am unaware of any state that permits a board of direxctors to alter or establish a rule on their own volition.

posted @ Friday, October 14, 2011 10:02 AM by Charles Adler

California requires majority of owners vote (now a secret vote) in favor to change bylaws and CC&Rs. Rules can be adopted by the board with notification of the community.  
The difference is that rules are more difficult to enforce. Logic being that owners either voted for CC&R changes or agreed to them when buying. Rules, however, are implemented by the board only. That doesn't mean that rules are not enforceable, but simply makes it more difficult in certain cases.

posted @ Friday, October 14, 2011 10:15 AM by Jeff Ross

There is no state law in AZ that addresses board adopted rules. Therefore, a board may adopt, rescind and/or change them at will, providing, of course, that the CCRs give them that power. And, because the CCRs give the board that power those board adopted rules are as legal as the restrictions outlined in the CCRs. As a board member, I do not find that the board adopted rules are harder to enforce than the CCR restrictions. Each member is given a copy of the rules the same as they are given a copy of the CCRs and bylaws.  
AZ does not have a law regarding amendments to bylaws. Some assn bylaws state they can be amended by a majority vote of the BOD; others require a vote of the members. 
The last couple of years CAI has tried to have a bill passed that would address amending the CCRs but their requirements were not acceptable and the bills did not pass. In AZ, HOAs must rely on their gov docs to determine how the bylaws and CCRs are to be amended.

posted @ Friday, October 14, 2011 4:28 PM by mary

You may first want to see if your State has specific condo laws already on the books because thoses laws superceed anything you might be thinking of doing and some of the changes you may want to make might already be in place. 
Our Association in Ohio just updated our Rules and Regulations to incorporate provisions in our State laws and to clarify items we needed to change for more accountability. It was a huge undertaking, but well worth our efforts. Before anything was implemented or distributed to each owner our attorney reviewed the proposed book and we made changes per their advice. It is very costly to amend your bylaws and CCR's, so updating your rules WITH the bylaws and CCR's in mind might be a less expensive way to go.

posted @ Friday, October 14, 2011 5:21 PM by Kathy

Depends upon your by-laws, but we are in Missouri and the Board updates ours after an annual meeting of the homeowners, making sure each resident has a chance to vote on the R&R changes the board proposes. Some years we don't have any need for changes to the Rules & Regs and other years there are several necessary changes. Usually it is in response to new residents who come up with situations we had not previously encountered. 

posted @ Saturday, October 15, 2011 2:00 PM by Jane

I find it a bit unusual that your bylaws require the members to vote on changes to the rules. Usually the CCRs (not the bylaws) contain a provision giving the board the authority to adopt rules without a vote of the members.  

posted @ Sunday, October 16, 2011 10:07 AM by mary

I read these postings with much interest. Mary's post (Oct 16, 2011) is the most relevant post.  
Usually (not always) Bylaws give the Board authority in establishing "Rules and Regulations" that impact the management and operations of the organization, whereas a change to an organization's bylaws is the domain of the unit owners of the HOA, not the board nor a management companty. What most HOA's lose sight of is that its elected Boards duty/respnsibilty/charge is to carry out responsibilities set forth in a set of Bylaws. 
With respect to your question, the answer depends upon either a) how many meetings of all of the owners occur annually, or b) whether your bylaws provide a mechanism to make such amendments by mail votes, and c) the procedures (hopefully) written within your bylaws. If your organization uses Roberts Rules of Order (as an example), bylaws can be amended as often as an organization chooses as long as 1) sufficient notice of the pending change(s) is/are given to all owners, 2) owners are given enough time to discuss the pending changes, and the voting procedure in your bylaws (hopefully) are follwed.  
In contrast to one opinion in this blog... such changes do not need to be costly. You do not have to consult an attorney to either develop or to make changes to the bylaws. On the other hand, if your organization does not follow your Bylaws on such matters, some attorney will most likely make a little money.

posted @ Sunday, October 16, 2011 1:31 PM by leonard Lundquist

I am confused.....I understood that Rules and Regulations must reflect what is already in the existing Constitution or By-Laws. For instance, if the Constitution and By_laws do not have anything pertaining to pets specifically, then Rules and Regulations can't dictate a pet policy. But if the Constitution and By-Laws do refer to pets then Rules and Regulations can expand on that and more clearly define what the pet policy is. Am I correct? Constitution and By-Laws trump Rules and Regulations. Correct?

posted @ Monday, October 17, 2011 10:28 AM by JoAnn

You are correct! If a particular issue is not addressed in the gov. docs, the board cannot make a rule regarding that issue. I've preached this many, many times! And, unless the board is given the authority to adopt rules in the CCRs (or constitution as you say), then they cannot do this at all.

posted @ Tuesday, October 18, 2011 10:46 AM by mary

Mary & Joann: 
What is the rationale for not allowing the Board to establish rules for items or issues not covered in the DOCs?  

Doesn't make sense to me.  

What if the DOCs don't provide for Emergency Planning--are you saying that if the DOCs don't address Emergency Planning, that the Board cannot establish a rule "that owners or residents who may need assistance while getting out of their units during a hurricane must register with the office in advance? " 

That would not make sense.  

Danny Greenberg

posted @ Tuesday, October 18, 2011 2:08 PM by Danny Greenberg

I think if you take a good, hard look at your CCRs, under the provision authorizing the board to adopt rules, this is what is really stated.  
The CCRs outline the restrictions which require a vote of the members to amend and repeal. These are the restrictions that the members have agreed to when they purchased their property. The CCRs also give the BOD the authority to adopt additional rules ". . . with respect to all aspects of the assn's rights, activities and duties under this declaration. . ., provided however that the ruledsshall not be inconsistent with this declaration the articles or bylaws." (From my CCRs) This means they can adopt a rule that elaborates on something that is already contained in the gov docs. If something is addressed that is not already covered in the gov docs then that rules would be inconsistent with the gov docs. 

posted @ Tuesday, October 18, 2011 4:41 PM by mary

Our board changed some of the rules and regulations and did not notify the association. When some of the members complained they were told they could call the management company anytime and find this out.

posted @ Wednesday, October 19, 2011 11:40 AM by Judi Polinkis

What a bunch of bozos! Ask the BOD how the members are expected to adhere to the rules if they don't know what they are? And are they expected to call the mgmt co. every week or so to ask if any have been changed? IMO, these board members are not acting in the best interests of the assn; remember who they are at election time!

posted @ Thursday, October 20, 2011 9:09 AM by mary

Judi...it is called a Board of Directors not a Board of Dictators. The BOD must make the Rules and Regulations available to every unit owner. But the R and R must have some legal backbone somewhere in the associations legal documentation... backed up by Federal, State, or local laws.

posted @ Thursday, January 05, 2012 12:56 AM by Jo Ann

Our Florida Condo Docs are 28 years old. Do they need to be redone by the 30 year mark as our CAM states?  
Thank you

posted @ Saturday, April 14, 2012 1:02 PM by Melissa

I doubt it's required that they be updated; however, there may be a term limit. My CCRs have a term of 20 years and are automatically extended for successive terms of 20 years; however some CCRs require a vote of the members to extend the term. Yours may require a vote. Look for an article titled "Term: amendments; termination" or something to that effect -- that's where you should find your answer.

posted @ Saturday, April 14, 2012 10:57 PM by mary

Our condo CCRs ban smoking in all common areas (pool area, walkways, common patio, grill area,etc). I have seen the term "exclusive common areas" used to describe owners patios and porches. Does the no smoking rule applt to these areas as well as the pool, etc. or does it need to be specifically stated?

posted @ Sunday, July 22, 2012 2:01 PM by John A

Our board president refuses to allow me, an owner, to see the Accounts Receivable information although our declaration says each unit owner can examine the books of account of the Condominium Association once a month. I am chairman of the budget committee which was not established in the condominium declaration. The justification used for not allowing me to see Accounts Receivable is it would violate privacy laws. My question is if this does violate privacy laws and, if not, how can I demonstrate this is wrong? This condominium is in Missouri.

posted @ Monday, October 14, 2013 9:57 PM by Barb

Your Board Pres is correct; it would be a violation of privacy laws for you to see the member accounts if you are not a board member. Just because you are a member of the assn. does not give you the right to see private info of other members. How would you like any member viewing your account? On the other hand, the treasurer should have no problem with giving you info regarding the Accounts Receivable amount. But a listing of accounts receivable showing account number and name and the amount delinquent -- NO that should not be made available to a member. 
You can demonstrate all you like that it is wrong, but that doesn't mean the board will change the policy. I don't know if Missouri has a records law but I would say if they do it says a member can view any records that are not confidential in nature. You can google "Missouri condo law" and check it out if you like.

posted @ Tuesday, October 15, 2013 11:53 AM by Mary

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