When Rules Don’t Make Sense

The media never misses an opportunity to cast community associations in a negative light. Unfortunately, in many cases the community association’s board doesn’t do it any favors either.

I’ve read tons of stories meant to demonize associations for controversial decisions, and wearing my community association manager hat I can often wrap my head around the valid argument supporting the decision. Unfortunately these scenarios can be unavoidable, especially depending on how well the story can be spun to get people’s attention and get them angry.

But it does happen too often that association’s enforce rules that don’t make sense. Occasionally a handful of board members have a nonsensical axe to grind, but more often a case arises where a perfectly logical rule has to be applied to a situation it wasn’t intended for but it fits the bill of nonetheless. Rules have to be applied with consistency to prevent accusations of discrimination, and rules have to be applied if they exist to prevent accusations of nonfeasance.

Whether a rule is able to be modified by the board or requires an amendment and a vote of the owners depends upon which governing document it is listed in and what the procedures outlined for amendment include. If the governing documents are properly written, rules and regulations are subject to modification by majority vote of the board. But very often this is not the case.

Regardless, when rules issues arise that don’t make sense, especially when they give rise to headline stories such as this, they must be modified and urgently. When stories like this make the news and there is no justifiable defending statement the association can make, it casts the community in a very negative light. It affects everything from community morale to actual home values if the community gains a negative reputation.

Your community’s rules must be enforced uniformly and fairly. If a situation arises such as our example here, it’s important to change the rule and not just forego it’s enforcement to sweep the issue under the rug nor enforce it without making the effort to change it. Regardless, don’t make headlines this way.