As the property owner, you have the power to enforce rules in your condominium community. These rules not only protect your residents but also keep the property safe and in pristine condition. To give you an idea of what rules to implement, in this post, we’ll share some of the most common rules in condo communities.
What Is a Condominium Owners Association (COA)?
Similar to a homeowners association (HOA), a condominium owners association (COA) is a group of condo owners who work together to preserve property values and conduct general upkeep. A COA is composed of a board of directors (BOD) with its own president, vice president, and so on, who oversee the enforcement of the community’s CC&Rs.
It’s not uncommon for COAs to partner with a condo management company, as many of the BOD’s members have other commitments. The condo management company’s role is to assist the COA with day-to-day duties such as coordinating repairs and collecting COA dues. As an impartial party, a condo management company can also impose penalties on tenants who commit violations – something that members of the BOD might not want to do themselves. Remember, members of the BOD live within the condo community, so there’s a chance they’ll get on their neighbor’s bad side if they call them out for their behavior.
Why Do Condo Communities Have Rules?
Many condominium owners aren’t fans of COA rules because they believe they’re prohibitive, but the rules are there for a reason. COAs create rules to protect the property and its residents, preserve property values, and ensure that all residents can live in peace. And if you’re wondering whether COA rules are legal, the answer is yes – COA rules are, in most cases, an extension of existing state, federal, and local laws.
What Are Some Common Condo Rules?
Below, we’ve broken down a few of the common rules you can find in a condominium community:
#1 Use of Common Areas
One of the most common rules you can enforce in your condo community is how tenants can use the common areas such as fitness centers, conference rooms, parks, and pools. As these areas will be used by all neighbors, there’s a good chance they’ll undergo wear and tear at a more rapid rate. Through rules and regulations, you can make sure these amenities last longer, and that all tenants get to use them equally. For example, you could remind tenants not to throw their trash anywhere even if there’s 24/7 maintenance staff who can clean up after them. Tenants who do throw their trash in the wrong area would then be charged a fee.
Noise is one of the most common complaints in any community, especially in a condo community. Whether it’s from a TV that’s too loud or a tenant that’s throwing a party too late in the evening, noise can be a huge disturbance and can contribute to people’s discomfort. That’s why COAs tend to be very strict when it comes to unreasonably loud sounds.
Many COAs and condo management companies will follow local ordinances on noise. For example, they might align their rules with Florida laws, which sets the maximum sound level at 55 decibels during the night. COAs and condo management companies are also free to enforce other rules – as long as they’re legal of course. They could, for instance, ban neighbors from blasting music or playing loud instruments (e.g. guitar and drums) between 8 PM to 7 AM.
#3 Kid’s Play Areas
For condominiums that have designated kid’s play areas, COAs and condo management companies may enforce rules on entry. Allowing children to enter the play area as long as they’re accompanied by an adult is one way to protect children from potential danger. COAs and condo managers could also limit the time that the play area is open. They could also restrict what kind of activities kids can do – for instance, they could ban water guns as these increase the risk of slip-and-fall accidents.
Since some children will attempt to play outside of the play area, it would also be wise to specify where they can and can’t play. For instance, it’s not uncommon for COAs to ban kids from riding their bikes or skateboarding in the parking lot.
#4 Use of Units
Some condo communities don’t allow condo owners to rent out their units for the short term as it poses a potential risk to the residents. Additionally, condo owners may not be able to run a business from home if their association rules say they can’t. The reason for this is that businesses tend to disturb the peace, considering the number of people who’ll be coming in and out of the condo per day.
Generally, pets aren’t a problem in most condo communities. But COAs and condo managers will probably create a section specifically for pets in the condo community’s rules and regulations. One common rule for pet owners is that they can only have a certain number of pets per unit. Condo managers might also ban “dangerous” dog breeds such as Pitbulls, Bulldogs, and Dobermans. But what they can’t do is ban condo owners from owning a service animal such as a service dog.
Condo communities can also require owners to keep their pets on a leash when they’re walking them around the common areas. They can also collect a fee from people who don’t clean up after their pets.
If you allow pets on your property, consider conducting a pet screening. This will show you whether or not a potential tenant’s pet can get along with other pets and people. The pet screening process is also one way of “testing” whether or not the owner can control their pet.
Enforce Rules Effectively With a Condo Management Company
As you can see, rules protect your property and make sure that your tenants are safe and satisfied. Keep in mind that your condo’s rules may not be the same as other condos, so it’s best to create rules that are tailored to your condo’s needs. Managing a condo successfully is hard. To manage your condo the right way you can check out our condominium property management tips. Still struggling! Let Luxury Property Care help you create and enforce rules and manage your condominium property. Apart from rule enforcement, we also provide a wide range of condo management services such as contract supervision, 24/7 customer communications, inspections, and much more.
Call us at (561) 944 – 2992 or complete our contact form. We’d love to walk you through our condominium community management services.