That is a question that is often asked whenever the rules in a community change and the issue of “grandfathering” certain existing conditions arises.
What does the term grandfathering mean when applied to rule enforcement? A grandfather clause is an exception to a rule that allows existing situations to remain in place for a time certain. Used as a verb, grandfathering means to grant such an exemption. Grandfathering often makes a new rule more palatable to existing owners with conditions that would otherwise be prohibited by the new rule. A classic example would be a new restriction against pets. Requiring existing owners with pets to remove those animals from the premises would be harsh and would certainly be met with reprisals. Allowing existing owners to keep those pets throughout the duration of the animals’ lives while prohibiting owners without pets from acquiring them will eventually result in a pet-free community with less angst in the process.
The problem arises when existing owners mistakenly believe that their units are grandfathered in and not their current condition. These folks often think they can continue to buy new pets, lease out the unit, purchase new restricted vehicles indefinitely. In fact, once the pet dies, the vehicle needs replacing or the lease expires, the new rule kicks in and applies to these owners in the same manner it applies to those owners who did not have these pre-existing conditions.
Did you know that the term “grandfathering” originated in late-19th-century legislation and constitutional amendments passed by a number of southern States which created new and discriminatory restrictions on voting, but exempted those whose ancestors (grandfathers) had the right to vote before the Civil War?