Board Condominium Governance Legal Rules Enforcement

Is it a By-Law or a Rule We Need to Change?


R.G. from Litchfield County writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

Can you please explain the difference between a By-Law or a Rule and Regulation? Our condo allows one dog of a certain height, temperament and has a leash rule. If we want to allow two dogs, keep the same height and temperament and leash rule, is this a by-law change or rule and regulation change about the number of dogs? It would seem allowing dogs is already in the By-laws, we are just changing the rule and regulation on of how many.

Both require different steps and it would seem the rules and regulation change would be easier and less costly than the by-law change.

Mister Condo replies:

R.G., that is an interesting question. By-Laws typically outline the corporation and describe the operation of the corporation. They generally get into who is eligible to serve on the Board, what their duties are, how they are elected (or removed) and so on. They are typically about the corporation. Rules and Regulations are generally about what is and isn’t allowed and often gives further detail on key concepts outlined in the Declaration. Collectively, these items are often referred to as the “condo docs”.

Your example would appear to be a rules modification. I am not an attorney so I would suggest you speak with your association attorney to confirm this advice but I would think that as long as you follow the rules for modifying a rule, you should be OK with your additional doggy rules. Good luck!

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