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Q. Our community is made up of several mid-size neighborhood associations, and a master association. There is concern about uniformity of enforcement in the community. Some of the neighborhoods are strict with enforcement of rules and standards, while others are lax. The result is that some neighborhoods look clean and orderly, while others look like a college campus. In the neighborhoods that are strict, vehicles are parked in their designated places and there is consistency with the exterior appearance of the homes. In the neighborhoods that are lax, vehicles are parked everywhere, garbage bins are left out, homes are not clean and there are unapproved renters. Can the master association step in and do anything?

A. I would need to review the master association governing documents, but it is likely that the master association has reserved the right to adopt its own rules and standards for the entire community and also the right to require the neighborhood associations to enforce their own standards. Generally when a community is first developed, the developer records a set of master documents for the entire community. If these documents are drafted properly, the master association will have the right to maintain a level of consistency throughout the community as neighborhoods are developed. Some neighborhoods may be developed by different builders, and as a result, the style of home and the governing documents within each neighborhood will vary. However, if the master association reserves the right to ensure a certain level of uniformity with respect to the appearance of the properties and enforcement of rules, then your master association should be able to improve this issue. The master association’s board should first consult with its legal counsel on its rights to govern the various neighborhoods, and then it may be a wise idea to call a meeting of the various boards to discuss a solution.

Q. Our community is made up of several mid-size neighborhood associations, and a master association. There is concern about uniformity of enforcement in the community. Some of the neighborhoods are strict with enforcement of rules and standards, while others are lax. The result is that some neighborhoods look clean and orderly, while others look like a college campus. In the neighborhoods that are strict, vehicles are parked in their designated places and there is consistency with the exterior appearance of the homes. In the neighborhoods that are lax, vehicles are parked everywhere, garbage bins are left out, homes are not clean and there are unapproved renters. Can the master association step in and do anything?

A. I would need to review the master association governing documents, but it is likely that the master association has reserved the right to adopt its own rules and standards for the entire community and also the right to require the neighborhood associations to enforce their own standards. Generally when a community is first developed, the developer records a set of master documents for the entire community. If these documents are drafted properly, the master association will have the right to maintain a level of consistency throughout the community as neighborhoods are developed. Some neighborhoods may be developed by different builders, and as a result, the style of home and the governing documents within each neighborhood will vary. However, if the master association reserves the right to ensure a certain level of uniformity with respect to the appearance of the properties and enforcement of rules, then your master association should be able to improve this issue. The master association’s board should first consult with its legal counsel on its rights to govern the various neighborhoods, and then it may be a wise idea to call a meeting of the various boards to discuss a solution.