Condo Media - September 2013 - (Page 60)

by Barbara Reilly HOMEOWNERS COLUMN NAME Time to Dust Off Those Condo Docs Musings and Misadventures of a Condo Owner T he term “condominium” refers to a form of property ownership. A condominium contains two distinct areas — private units and common elements (to which all owners share access). The “units” within a community can be apartments, commercial spaces, townhouses, or separate homes. All are governed by legally recorded documents, the condo docs, that bind and place restrictions on owners. Even though they impose constraints of conformity, their enforcement ensures the quality of living within the community. The Documents With a little bit of research, I discovered that condominium documents are made up of three basic sections: 1) Declaration, or CC&Rs; 2) Bylaws; and 3) Rules and Regulations. The sample documents I looked at ranged in length from 26 to 120 pages! However, even though the length was different, they shared those three commonalities in make-up. Perhaps a good place to start would be to explore what’s in each of these sections. 1 Declaration (or CC&Rs). “This document is basically the charter document for your condominium or 60 Condo Media • September 2013 Declaration or CC&Rs in order to be enforceable. This is one mistake many boards make — they adopt restrictions on use (such as bans on smoking or pets in a unit) in their Bylaws or Rules and Regulations without realizing that those provisions are unenforceable.”1 Additionally, the Declaration “establishes the boundaries of the Condominium as a whole, as well as the boundaries of the Percentage Interest appertaining to each Unit.”2 “Special property rights within the Condominium, such as easements,”3 are also included in this section. 2 Bylaws. “The bylaws basically tell you how your association should be run, Poorly duplicated documents hinder usability. administratively and procedurally. Bylaws contain information homeowners development. In theory, about voting processes, quorum the Declaration/CC&Rs should conrequirements, how your Board is tain all of the property- and use-related elected, how Board meetings and Asinformation about your association. sociation meetings are run, and more. Examples of what should be in this Your Bylaws may not contain restricdocument include a description of the tions on use or other property-related development as a whole, descriptions restrictions/information, nor should of the units/lots within the developthey address issues such as rules of ment, percentage allocations for each conduct in the common areas. Conproperty, restrictions on use, and more. sider the Bylaws your how-to manual In fact, restrictions on the use of your for running your association, not for unit/lot must be contained in the controlling what people do in their

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - September 2013

Condo Media - September 2013
From the CED’s Desk
Editorial Board
CAI News
CAI Regional News
Asked & Answered
Homeowner’s Corner
Vendor Spotlight
Volunteer Spotlight
Self-Managed Association Boards
Classified Service Directory
Advertisers Index

Condo Media - September 2013