Florida law governing condominium management in Tampa allows the board to implement certain rules and regulations that are not included within the bylaws, if they are both “reasonable” and have a specific purpose within the community. For example, condo boards have the ability to set the hours of the community pool, set standard procedures for reserving the clubhouse, and other rules that relate to common areas of the property.
Each community is different, so often community developer’s standard bylaws miss out on rules needed for specific amenities that are property specific. This is where the board has opportunities to look at the unique needs of the community to create a better living experience for its residents by creating rules and regulations that will promote a positive and safe environment.
To assist your community board in developing these new procedures, our experienced Tampa condo association management team has organized a four step process to create a smooth transition from the idea phase to enforcement.
STEP 1: LOOK FOR AREAS OF THE COMMUNITY THAT NEED SET GUIDELINES
What hours should the community pool be open? How can residents reserve the clubhouse? What are the expectation of residents and guests in common areas? These are all questions that must be answered to protect the community from trespassers and promote organized processes for allowing residents to take advantage of amenities like the pool, gym, tennis courts, club house, and business center. Your board along with interested condominium owners can begin by developing a committee to look for areas of the community that need rules implemented for their successful operation. After these areas have been determined, the committee can work together to come up with rules for the specific amenity. For example, a member of the committee may decide that 8:00 am – 8:00 pm is reasonable hours for the pool. Other members may have differing views about the pool hours, which should also be written down and taken to the next phase of the process.
During this initial phase, it may also be a good idea to look at Official Condo Management Guidelines from other communities with similar needs or speak with a Tampa condominium management company experienced with varying property types.
STEP 2: DISCUSS COMMITTEE IDEAS AND DECIDE WHICH RULES SHOULD BE ADOPTED
At this point, the committee should go back to the ideas set forth in the first phase to decide which rules should be brought to the board for review. To organize this process, the rules can be organized by amenity with all regulations relating to the area grouped together. Once a final list is decided upon, the proposed rules can then be brought to the board for review. Before the rules and regulations are to be adopted, the board’s legal representative should review the rules to ensure that nothing violates state or local law.
STEP 3: INTEGRATE THE RULES INTO YOUR OPERATIONS
Once the official rules are decided upon and approved by the board’s legal counsel, our condo association management team recommends holding a meeting with residents of the community. During this point, the amenities and proposed regulations can be discussed to get feedback from the people who will be affected by these regulations. While the board will determine the final decision, interested parties may have ideas that go beyond the committee’s initial considerations.
After debates cease, the rules must be integrated into the condominium’s official rules and regulations. These procedures must be communicated to residents, condo management, and facility supervisors to make sure everyone is aware of the upcoming changes. A community wide newsletter can be sent to spread this information and rules and notices can be posted to the different community areas.
STEP 4: ENFORCE THE RULES
After all affected parties are informed of the updated rules and regulations, they must be enforced to be effective. The policies should also be communicated to new residents as they move in. This can be done through a welcome packet that explains the expectations from residents for the different common areas and amenities. There may also be residents who refuse to follow the new procedures, so enforcement measures should be developed to ensure that community policies are followed.
The condominium board is responsible for providing the best living environment to owners by maintaining the property and ensuring the safety of residents by creating policies that contribute to the successful operation of the community. While community bylaws set forth many of these expectations, some community specific guidelines may be overlooked. If you’re not quite sure where to start, seek the help of a condo association management company in Tampa, who can give you the start you need to get the process started.