Following the Golden Rule Drafting Rules and Making Them Stick

 Nothing stays the same forever. As community standards, attitudes and  populations shift and evolve, rules and regulations that once made sense or  that reflected the views and standards of their day can become antiquated,  irrelevant, or just plain silly. Those changes often necessitate the amendment  of existing ones—or the drafting of new ones—to fit the new paradigm.  

 Criteria that a board should use when considering a new rule include its  fairness to the entire membership, its enforceability, and its ability to serve  a purpose that will better the community. “The first thing a board needs to do is ask themselves why are they doing this,” says attorney Sima L. Kirsch of Sima L. Kirsch PC in Chicago. “What makes a good rule really turns on whether you should be making the rule or  not.”  

 A Good Rule

 Andrea Sorgani, president of the Illinois chapter of the Community Associations  Institute (CAI-IL) and owner of Alma Property Management in Schaumburg, says  that good rules should be “reasonable, objective, enforceable and consistent.”  

 Fundamentally, a good rule is something that is fair and reasonable to all  owners. It needs to be transparent with no ulterior motive and is thought  through.  

 “A fair rule is well-written so when you read it everyone can understand it and  it doesn’t need further interpretation,” says Ryan H. Shpritz, an attorney with Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit in Buffalo Grove. “There’s nothing worse than having a rule that owners can’t follow and understand.”  


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  • Rules should be up-dated every six years. a meeting of homeowners should be called and each section of the rules and regulations should be gone over with home owners present. Going over the new rules a section at a time at board meetings is long and hard but the results will amaze you. I have found that homeowners are more willing to adjust to the new rules and when they see others who in violation have no [promblem letting the person and the board know. Boards are not set-up to loard it over the homeowners and unfornately many boards put themselfs in a postion of us against them. Currently, we have a board president who makes it his personal mission in life to drive around each day to see how many violations he can write. the homeowners in our association are disgusted and times are better they will sell thier units just to get away from this hard nailed approach to managing.