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Rules Development and Enforcement


Community Associations Institute (CAI) supports legally sound, fair and equitable rules development and enforcement procedures in community associations, according to the following principles:

  • All rules and regulations should be based upon proper legal authority as contained in applicable legislation, court precedent and the governing documents of the community.
  • Rules and regulations should be adopted solely to serve legitimate needs of the community, taking into consideration the personal and property interests of the unit owners.
  • Rules and regulations reflect the current standards of a community and should be reviewed periodically to assure they are being kept abreast of the community’s needs and are in compliance with governmental regulations. Changes should be considered in a meeting where unit owners are invited to attend and afforded the opportunity to review and comment upon proposed rules and regulations prior to their adoption by the governing board. Changes to duly adopted rules and regulations should be made available, using the association’s regular communication modes, to the owners of record. Communication helps ensure compliance.
  • The community's enforcement process should make adequate accommodation for due process, including the opportunity to appear before a hearing panel after a violation notice has been issued, and the violation has not been cured within a reasonable time.
  • To avoid the appearance of selective enforcement and criticism by owners, the governing board or its appointed hearing panel should ensure that all violations of rules and regulations of which the association becomes aware are enforced in a consistent, uniform manner using common sense.


The community association form of housing results in unique legal and social interdependence among property owners and residents recognizing that the governing documents form a contract between each purchaser and the association. The characteristics of shared property ownership and mutual governing responsibilities create the need for rules and regulations dealing with both property rights and standards of personal conduct.


The long-term operation and social success of a community association is heavily dependent upon a rules making and rules enforcement process that operates in the best interest of the community and guarantees fair and consistent treatment of all residents. The rules enforcement process must be presented in a manner that ensures that the participants are well-informed concerning their procedural rights and obligations and must be based on sound legal authority, principles and practices as guided both by statute and applicable court decisions. If challenges are anticipated or encountered, the governing board may need to consult legal counsel to minimize unforeseen consequences.

Policy H​​istory

Adopted by the Board of Trustees, April 8, 1983

Amended by the Public Policy Committee, October 6, 1993

Adopted by the Board of Trustees, October 9, 1993

Amended and approved by the Government & Public Affairs Committee, March 15, 2012

Adopted by the Board of Trustees, June 14, 2012