Part of being a resident within a condominium corporation involves fulfilling responsibilities to the community—maintaining your property, paying assessments, and, maybe most importantly, following the rules. While every community is unique and has its own set of guidelines, there are some regulations that are necessary to maintain structure in all communities. Read on to learn some of the most common rules, what they cover, and why they have staying power.
Why Many Condos Adopt Rules
To some homeowners, community rules may seem prohibitive, but they’re there for a good reason. Condos set the most essential guidelines based on a combination of their governing documents and applicable local, provincial, and federal laws. In addition to securing your financial home investment, condo rules are designed to:
- Preserve the aesthetics of an area. Rules guarantee the look and feel of a community remain desirable.
- Protect and enhance home values. Maintenance standards ensure that a neighbourhood is appealing to prospective buyers and homes stay structurally and visually sound for decades.
- Enforce the condominium corporation’s declaration and bylaws. The declaration and bylaws are legally binding documents that outline the rights and responsibilities of the corporation, board members, and homeowners. Community guidelines often act as an extension of these regulations, emphasizing their most important aspects, while also establishing additional provisions.
- Maintain the property of the corporation. Certain guidelines help maintain community property, including the structures, landscape, and amenities so that all members can enjoy the place they call home.
Common Condo Rules Examples
A community’s specific set of rules is determined by a variety of factors. While size, location, and other attributes differentiate communities, some of the more prevalent guidelines may include:
- Holiday and decoration restrictions. Communities may require residents to put up and take down holiday decorations within a window of time or restrict certain types of decorations.
- Noise complaint policies. Policy limits may pertain to music at parties, construction, and even barking dogs.
- Exterior home maintenance. Keeping lawns, gardens, and trees in tip-top shape benefits the overall community. Residents may be required to keep their grass under a particular height or limit the number of trees in the front of the house in some communities.
- Pet restrictions. Many condominiums include rules regulating the number and / or size of pets that are allowed within the community.
Why These Rules Maintain Popularity Long-Term
When you purchase a home that’s part of a condominium corporation, you automatically become a member of the community. You sign forms, agree to abide by the governing documents, and pay assessments. You, as a homeowner, have certain duties to the community, and in return, expect the condo corporation to deliver on its promise to protect your home’s value and sustain a comfortable living environment.
One of the best ways for the community’s leadership to meet those expectations is by enacting and maintaining clearly defined rules. What gives these rules staying power is that they’re transparent, easy to follow, and ultimately benefit everyone in the community.
Options for Changing Rules
Rules are designed to do good for the community and enhance the condo lifestyle. However, it’s possible that some rules in your governing documents may seem ambiguous or vague. If that’s the case, call on your condo’s board of directors to re-examine the rules and regulations. By speaking up and working with them, you’re demonstrating good stewardship and positioning the community for success.
To be most effective, know what rule you’d like to change and present your proposed amendment with informed confidence. Proposed rules should be reasonable, enforceable, and related to something that the corporation has authority over—protecting and enhancing property values. The goal is to get board members to share your vision and work strategically to enact positive change.
What Makes a Good Condo Rule?
Condominiums promote the safety and well-being of the communities they serve and provide immense value for their residents. Even with all the value that condos provide, you may still find that your community’s rules are a struggle to understand and adhere to. These bad rules are entirely avoidable, and when you know the right questions to ask, you can prevent them from surfacing in your community. Read our article “5 Questions to Ask Before Creating a New Condo Rule” to help identify whether it’s a good rule—or not.