Communities that have associations usually have set rules and bylaws, which are designed to make the neighborhood the best place to live. Some of those rules, however, may have been passed twenty years ago, or more, and they no longer mesh with current social norms, the needs of the HOA or the flow of the community. Luckily, with a little effort, these rules and bylaws can be amended.
Determine if the Rule Still Makes Sense
The process of creating HOA rules and bylaws is a constantly evolving process. The board should routinely examine the rules to determine if they still make sense. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to what residents are saying. If they are all complaining about the same rule, it may be time to look at it closer and see if it should be amended. For example, solar power is becoming more and more popular, but many HOAs may still have rules prohibiting solar panels on roofs. With the push toward going green, many HOAs may want to reconsider this rule, especially if their homeowners feel the rule should be amended.
Discuss the Rule in Question with Homeowners
If the HOA does determine a rule may need an amendment, they should discuss it with the community. Holding one or several special meetings with the board and the neighborhood allows everyone to voice their opinion on the matter. Despite what the board thinks about the rule, the majority of the community may not want to change it. These special meetings are just a conversation to see what the next step should be.
Hold a Vote
If it seems the rule should change, the board can’t just change it. A vote must be held, and it’s the community who makes the final decision. The number of votes needed to pass the motion depends on the governing documents. In some cases, 100 percent approval is needed. In other cases, two-thirds is needed. It just depends what the governing documents state.
Getting a law amended is a long process, but it is possible. Make sure residents understand the current rules and any updates to the rules. Have your HOA rules and bylaws accessible on the documents page of your website, so everyone knows what is expected.
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