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Rules and Regulations: Reasonable or Unnecessary?

As an HOA or condo association it’s hard, if not impossible, to please everyone in your community. But with the pandemic new rules and regulations have had to be made to keep everyone safe and some of these rules are getting pushback from your members.

So, how do you know if your rules are reasonable or if they cross the border into unreasonable territory? And how do you know if your new rules are in accordance with state laws and the CC&Rs of your association?

Here’s a checklist you can follow to answer these questions:

  • Are your rules and regulations in accordance with state guidelines?
  • Are your rules and regulations in accordance with county guidelines?

If you can answer yes to all of these, then you’re in safe territory. If you answered no to one, examine which laws supersede others to see where your rules stand. If you answered no to two or more, then chances are your rules are either unreasonable or not in accordance with current guidelines. So, should you change them? Wait, there’s more.

In addition to current restrictions set in place by local, state and national regulations, you also have state laws and your own HOA or condo association’s bylaws to be aware of. Some of these laws supersede your own pandemic rules and some will be trumped by COVID-19 regulations. The only way to know for sure is to seek out the counsel of a knowledgeable attorney.

But there are considerations to keep in mind for your association. Here are some general guidelines regarding the creation of rules and regulations in an HOA or condo association…

  • If the governing documents grant the board the power, the BOD may create rules and regulations in connection with the property.
  • Some governing documents grant broad rule-making authority, while others restrict it to certain areas.
  • Some governing document require a “yes” vote from community members.
  • Rules must be reasonable and not contradict any other provisions within the governing documents.
  • During a state of emergency, the BOD can exercise their emergency powers provided by the Florida Statutes

With all this said, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney to determine where your association’s rules and regulations stand with the current circumstances. The pandemic climate is changing rapidly and some rules that applied last month may not apply this month, or vice versa. To keep yourself out of hot water, stay regularly informed on current pandemic guidelines and always know your own bylaws.

Your best bet is to have a community law attorney on your team. We are here to serve you and your community.

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