Living in a common-interest community requires residents to adhere to certain covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) in addition to other rules and regulations a board of directors may establish.
CC&Rs play a crucial role in keeping a community operating smoothly. CC&Rs are legally binding rules and regulations that each homeowner agrees to when he or she purchases a condominium within an association. If you own a condo, you most likely signed a legal document at your closing that you agreed and accepted your condo’s CC&Rs. The question is; have you ever read the CC&Rs that you agreed to? If you are thinking of purchasing a condo, ask to review the CC&Rs before you buy.
CC&Rs include stipulations on assessments, building design and additions, and how the association is governed. All residents should familiarize themselves with their communities CC&Rs so they do not unintentionally violate them. It is incumbent upon the resident to review the CC&Rs. The “Nobody told me!” excuse does not apply for those who violate the CC&Rs as it is one’s responsibility to read the CC&Rs to understand what one can or cannot do within the community that they live.
Boards and/or managers should enforce the CC&Rs in a fair and consistent manner. Members of a board should not receive any special treatment from rules and regulations. If anything they should be the ones who set the example for a community.
When a violation of the CC&Rs is known, the homeowner should be notified immediately and provided a period of time to correct the violation. Violators can be fined and – in extreme cases – sued for violating the CC&Rs of a community.
Homeowners should take time to read and understand their community’s CC&Rs. One should also understand the procedures outlined for changing or amending them when they are no longer relevant or applicable to the community. A rule established 20 years ago may be irrelevant today – use the outlined procedure to change or remove the rule or regulation.
While they may seem arbitrary, the CC&Rs are legally enforceable. They also help ensure a community as a whole can thrive and that members are treated fairly and equally. So don’t be left in the dark—check out your community’s CC&Rs today!
Midtown resident Tim Huffman is a licensed Community Association Manager and holds the designations of CMCA®, AMS® and PCAM® from Community Associations Institute.