For most homeowners associations in Florida, rules are not part of the community’s original governing documents. Instead, rules are often adopted along the way to help homeowners to better understand the HOA’s covenants, restrictions, and conditions.
Having more than 25 years of experience in residential association management for Florida communities, we often come across an HOA that wants to revise its rules. If your HOA community would like to revise a rule, we recommend taking the following steps:
- Determine if your state has any type of notification requirements for revising rules.
According to section 720.306(1)(b) of the Florida Homeowner’s Association Act, rules are only amenable if two-thirds of the entire voting interests of the HOA agree to the change.
- Be aware of notification requirements for proposing revisions to rules.
Most states require that HOA members be provided with at least 30-day written notice of any proposed revisions of rules. During this 30-day time period, members are able to comment on the proposed revisions and provide their input. All comments should be documented and considered by HOA board members. Once the 30-day period has expired, members should meet, consider the feedback, and vote on whether to adopt the new rule or not.
- Make communication a priority.
Keep in mind that there is a big difference between revising an HOA’s governing documents and revising rules. While the process is typically less stringent when revising rules, it’s critical for the board to clearly communicate any and all proposed changes to rules. A 30-day notification of proposed revisions to rules is a courtesy as much as it is a requirement.
- Confirm that the rule change is legal.
In some scenarios, a rule change can impact the homeowners’ fair housing rights. For example, creating a rule that prohibits children under the age of 12 from swimming in the community’s pool during certain hours discriminates on the basis of age and would only be legal in an age-restricted community. Consulting an attorney that specializes in HOA law is a best practice before proposing rule changes to members of your community.
Revising your HOA community rules can create some issues if you don’t approach it the right way. Our Florida residential association management company recommends following the steps outlined above to minimize issues and serve the best interests of the members of your HOA community.
Our team at Vesta Property Services offers a wealth of experience in residential association management and can provide a lot of value and guidance when it comes to proposing revisions to HOA rules. Please contact us to learn more about how your Florida HOA community can benefit from a partnership with Vesta Property Services.