HOA Association Rules and Procedures for Directors

In addition to the basic governing documents, an association should have its own internal rules and regulations to implement and supplement the provisions of the declaration and other governing documents. The internal rules are usually not recorded and, as a result, they are not enforceable on their own as equitable servitudes. The manner in which community association boards of directors may adopt and amend these internal operating rules is regulated by state statutes and the association’s governing documents, which should always be reviewed before a rule is considered for adoption.

“Operating rules” are any regulations that are adopted by a homeowners association’s board of directors that apply generally to the management and operation of the development or the conduct of the business and affairs of the association. A “rule change” is the adoption, amendment, or repeal of an operating rule by the board of directors of the association. All operating rules should be:

  • Reasonable;
  • In writing;
  • Within the authority of the board of directors (being defined by law and by the governing documents of the association);
  • Consistent with governing law and the governing documents; and
  • Adopted, amended, or repealed in good faith and in substantial compliance with the statute’s procedural requirements.

State laws pertaining to homeowners associations and / or the association’s governing documents should contain provisions that mandate that an association provide its members with written notice of a proposed rule pertaining to certain specified categories of rules a certain number of days (i.e. 30 days) before its effective date. Such a notice would include the full text of the proposed rule along with a description of the purpose and the effect of the proposed rule. The state laws and/or association’s governing documents also typically contain provisions that detail a process by which members can challenge a proposed rule. Proposed rules that should be presented to an association’s members for review and challenge before they may be implemented generally fall into the following categories:

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