Q. My board will not enforce the parking ban of a commercial vehicle on my street. Please help and advise.

A. One of the most common questions we answer deals with boards selectively or randomly enforcing the community rules. This creates a couple major problems for the community association. First, if the association enforces other violations, but not this commercial vehicle violation, it is exposed to a potential lawsuit from one or more homeowners. The association will have an uphill battle in any lawsuit where it is shown that the association not been consistent with rules enforcement. Second, if a violation is ignored for an extended period of time, the association will have a very difficult time enforcing that violation when it ultimately decides to.

Often, a new Board of Directors is elected and they want to get aggressive with enforcing the rules. However, the neglect and abuses of prior Boards can carry over and impede these new enforcement efforts. When moving into a community association, a new homeowner must realize that he agreed to the restrictions in the community documents when the closing documents were signed. Further, the Board must recognize that they have a fiduciary duty to enforce the rules and restrictions as written. It is not optional. The rules can be changed with a proper vote, but until they are changed, the Board should direct its property manager and attorney to consistently and uniformly enforce the rules that are on the books.