Any condominium is governed by a board of directors which enforces the rules and regulations. If rules are not properly implemented, problems will immediately crop up. In case you are a condo owner, and you believe that the board isn't doing a good job in enforcing the rules, there are a few things that you can do. When a condominium development's board of directors fails to do its job, you or any owner has the right to voice out their opinions. Here are a few important details that you have to keep in mind with regards to condo regulations.
1Rules Must Be Diligently Enforced
The board of directors must set an example to all the condo owners who live in the development. Problems can quickly arise when the board itself fails to follow and enforce the rules. Residents have a certain level of trust for the members of homeowners associations, and if those in position fail to do their duties well, the trust given to them by all the owners is broken, and this is also a legal issue that can be taken to court. In case the issue is about lax enforcement of the rules, the owners have the right to demand that the rules be implemented, as long as such measures are within the boundaries of the regulatory documents; a case can also be filed against the board for failing to perform its primary task.
2Violations Should Be Raised Properly
If one owner fails to follow the specified condo development's regulations, everyone can suffer the consequences. Let's say that you are a unit owner, and you see someone who isn't following the rules; you can do something about the issue, especially if you see that the board is not able to enforce the rules well. One way to do this is by writing a letter to the owner and requesting a meeting with him or her so that the problem can be discussed.
It's also possible to take legal action against the board or the owner for failing to enforce the rules. But remember that you do not have the right or the authority to fine your neighbor, organize a hearing, or even ban him from common areas, like the pool, exercise room, or laundry room. Only the board can authorize such actions.
3How Complaints Are Raised And Handled
The association will typically be responsible for the proper and efficient implementation of a condo development's regulations, and there are specific steps to be followed when correcting problems. In general, complaints must be made in writing, and once the board receives a complaint, a member or a staff will verify if this is a valid issue before contacting the owner who allegedly broke the rules. Then, a representative will get in touch with the condo owner in question (or his tenant if the unit has been rented out) , once the board determines that the violation is real and valid. The communication will be in written form, yet some are simply settled through calls, particularly if an owner is very cooperative even if things are done over the phone. Nevertheless, letters are preferred as it's always beneficial to have a paper trail.
4Provision Of Policies And Sanctions
In case there are violations, the violators will incur a disciplinary fine. However, it is essential to have specific policies first, as regards fines and violations before disciplinary penalties are issued. All condo unit owners must be informed or even given a copy of such policies at the start so that they won't feel like they've been fined for no apparent reason. Before the proper issuance of such fines, property owners must be made aware of enforceable legal measures that they could suffer for violating particular rules. The policy must also clarify certain aspects about the fines, such as whether or not it's recurring or whether it's collected on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
5Imposing Fines To Violators
It is common for associations to fine the owners who violate the regulatory documents of the condo development. It is not just a way for associations to earn money, but it also aids in deterring owners from violating specified rules. It is common and acceptable to fine violators, particularly those who continue to break the rules even after they have been repeatedly notified about their violations. One common complaint in condo developments is noise at night, which can range from boisterous evening parties to more subdued sounds, such as the noise of a television show or the sound of someone showering, which is particularly evident if the walls or floors are thin.
6Requesting For Violation Hearings
In case an owner thinks that the violation claims against him are invalid or unfair, he could request for a hearing if he hopes to have the complaints dropped. He could seek an audience with the board or address the board during an open meeting wherein all members of the association may attend. As for hearings, these are typically closed proceedings. During a hearing, the board must remain polite, and the owner must strive to act the same and avoid being defensive; having a hostile atmosphere is not productive at all, and this may even hinder both parties from reaching a satisfactory resolution.