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Condo Association Rules and Regulations You Need to Know

Posted by Toronto Condo Home on October 9, 2022

A condominium society consisting of different people from various cultures living together in a building needs to adhere to a set of rules and regulations so they can live in peace, manage the common areas, and maintain the amenities. The condo association or Homeowners Association (HOA) records these regulations in a document known as a “declaration” or CC&R’s which stands for “Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions,” and enforces them by enacting rules to deal with violators. The HOA also charges the residents for the maintenance costs.

What is a Condo Association?

A condo association or House Owners Association (HOA) is a group of elected condo owners responsible for managing the condo and enforcing the condo association rules. Sometimes people consider an HOA equal to the association rules.

The election is typically held annually; however, it is written in the document.

HOA membership has some advantages, including code enforcement, exterior maintenance, trash pick-up, and landscaping.

What Are Condo Association Rules and bylaws?

There are two sets of rules and associations in a condo; declaration and the bylaws.

While the declaration or CC&Rs is more general and outlines the residents’ rights, the bylaws are more detailed and focus on their functions. Usually, the rules are made by the developer and modified later by the board.

In the case of a conflict between bylaws and a declaration, the documents specify the order of authority.

If you live in or own a condo, request to view the documents. The rules are usually on pets, noise, fees, amenities, garbage disposal, parking, penalties, etc.

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Common Condo Association Rules

Although condo rules are made by developers and boards, some rules are common among all condos, such as those on common areas, noise, and the like. You may find some below.

  • Don’t obstruct common areas.

Common areas don’t belong to an owner and should not be restricted to one. No one is allowed to leave their personal property in common areas, or ban others from entering.

Children also cannot play or ride a bike in areas other than recreational areas or at certain times.

Common Condo Association Rules

  • Don’t cause damage to common areas.

No one is allowed to make a change in common areas. It would be vandalism, which is illegal.

  • Don’t make loud sounds.

To live in peace in a condo, all the owners, tenants, and guests are prohibited from causing loud noise. Any other action that disturbs the neighbors’ peace is also forbidden, such as running a business out of one’s condo unit.

  • Only a certain number and kinds of animals are allowed.

All the condo associations define a certain number and kinds of allowed animals. Almost all forbid residents from keeping a large number of pets and animals, and those that do have strict rules about how to care for them.

  • Follow the garbage disposal rules.

The way in which residents should dispose of their trash is defined in the documents. There is a garbage chute in most of the condos.

  • Follow the guidelines on the parking policy.

Not every class of vehicle is allowed in the parking lot; for example, trucks and boats are forbidden in most of the condos.

Car repairs in parking lots are also prohibited unless there is an emergency or the area is being cleaned.

Repairing cars in parking lots is also forbidden unless it’s an emergency and in conditions of cleaning the area.

While some condos designate parking spaces for each unit, others operate on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • You cannot change the design of the common areas.

Based on the majority of condo association rules and regulations, no one can change the common areas’ structure or architectural design; however, they can alter their units’ interior appearance if they receive the board of directors’ written consent.

  • HOA fees must be paid.

Community members should pay for common areas’ and elements’ maintenance and management. The HOA fee varies depending on square footage, location, and orientation and can range from $600 to $100.

In some condominiums, the HOA fee will be dedicated to garbage pickup and utilities (such as internet services) as well.

Common Condo Association Rule Violations

The owners and tenants can report a violation to the board. In these situations, the board issues a warning and a fine to the offender. A hearing would also be held so that both the reporter and the violator could present their cases.
The consequences for breaking the regulations are outlined in the bylaws, and they could be fines, removing the violating structure, legal actions (police intervention), or terminating the owner’s rights. Even in some cases, owners are going to be fined for what their guests, tenants, or pets have done.
Not obeying the condo association rules will count as a violation and face you with penalties. For example,
– You cannot leave your plants and weeds uncut.
– You cannot park any number or type of vehicles in the parking lot.
– You can’t rent out your unit without written permission, in most condos.
– You can’t throw out garbage at a certain time or discard certain items at a certain time.
– You also can’t hang Christmas lights outside unless at a certain time.
– Etc.

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What Rights Do Condo Owners Have?

Apart from the rules that condo owners must follow, they have some rights toward one another. Among them, the following can be mentioned:
– They are the owners of their condo.
– Under the board’s permission, they can rent out, paint, and install satellite dishes under the board’s permission.
– Become a board member of the condo.
– Vote or oppose the bylaw rules.
– Receive notice of any action taken as a result of the revised bylaws.
– receive notification of any disciplinary actions taken as a result of bylaw violations.
Homeowner association rules can provide a neat and well-kept neighborhood, useful amenities, and a peaceful atmosphere for residents, but they can also cost you money or make you appear aggressive. The good news is that condo owners govern the HOA, have the authority to make or change the rules, and manage the common areas in such a way that everyone enjoys living together while also protecting their investment.

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