The Importance of Educating Owners and Residents About Condominium Rules

condo building on a cloudy day

Condominium buildings (regardless of their size or legal structure) must have condominium Rules and Regulations (“Rules”) in place. The rationale behind this is obvious. Without Rules, owners and residents would be unaware of the conduct that is and is not permitted (i.e, pets, noise, parking).

Owners and residents are bound by their Rules, regardless of whether they have taken the time to read and understand them. Once a condominium Board approves Rules, they become in full force and effect within 30 days (assuming no owner requisitions a meeting to oppose the new Rules).

While it is critical for condominiums to have Rules in place, it is perhaps even more important for owners and residents to be properly educated about the existence and subject matter of the Rules.

This is why I believe it is critical for condominium Boards and property management to be consistently educating and informing owners and residents about the existence of the their specific Rules, and why it is so important that they be followed.

puppy with a paper towel roll in mouth

By way of example, consider the situation where an owner owns a pet that does not comply with his or her own condominium Rules. The Board of Directors in this case has the right to enforce the Rules, regardless of whether the owner was aware of the Rule or not. However, rather than needing to go through an entire enforcement process (and potentially ending up in court), it would be a lot easier if that owner was educated about the Rule from the outset. This can solve many problems for the Board of Directors and property management.

One idea is for condominium buildings to hold an annual review of the Rules and Regulations with owners (separate from the Annual General Meeting). This gives owners an opportunity to review the Rules and ask any questions. It is also a good idea for property management to send out emails at least once a year to owners attaching the Rules (along with the Declaration and By-Laws).

Simply put, the more educated owners and residents are about the governing documents, the less problems property management and the Board of Directors will experience going forward.

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