Is It Up To The HOA Board To Decide What Is or Isn’t Acceptable?

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C.B. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

If something is not specifically allowed or disallowed in our HOA bylaws (we are a site condo), does that mean it is up to the board to decide whether it is acceptable or not?

Mister Condo replies:

C.B., the short answer is “it depends”. What it depends upon is the governance document of your HOA, which in your case is further defined as a site condo. It also depends on local, state, and federal law. The HOA Board, generally speaking, is charged with enforcing existing rules and regulations as well as adopting new rules and regulations as situations develop that require additional governance. However, that doesn’t mean the Board has unilateral powers to simply pass rules as they wish. They must follow the rules for making the rules. Also, the unit owners within the HOA have the power to vote leaders into and out of office at Annual Meetings. The HOA Board is made up of democratically elected volunteers from within the association. They are there to protect, maintain, and enhance the community association’s common elements and quality of life for unit owners. If a Board were to push a new rule onto the community that was unpopular enough amongst unit owners, Board Members who supported the rule might soon find themselves voted off the Board at the next election. That is HOA democracy at its finest. Good luck!

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