Sunday, May 26, 2013

What are the real reasons for certain association rules?

My husband returned from a recent meeting at a condominium and told me that he was required by a condominium employee to go back and re-park his car "head-in" to the guest parking spot he was occupying. When my better half inquired why parking head-in was preferable to head out, the guard told him "I don't make the rules, I only enforce them."
Since it is easier for most people to pull out into traffic when leaving as opposed to backing out into traffic, we were unable to come up with a reason for this particular rule. When confronted with certain rules that, on their surface make no sense, many people want an explanation and, if given a reasonable one, will gladly comply.
Hopefully, there are perfectly logical reasons for the majority of rules that associations promulgate and enforce. I often wonder if it wouldn't be best for a board or manager to list what those reasons are so people can have an "Aha" moment. Let's look at the most typical association rules and try to divine the reasonable goals that are being sought. 
  • Restrictions on guest occupancy. Possible reason:  safety and security is enhanced by knowing who is residing in the community at any given moment.
  • Restrictions on commercial vehicles. Possible reasons:  aesthetic concerns; size of parking spaces.
  • Restrictions on exterior paint colors. Possible reason: aesthetic concerns.
  • Prohibitions against exterior signage of any sort. Possible reasons:  aesthetic concerns; concerns that residents may be misled by quality of vendors; concerns about message of sign being defamatory or disturbing.
  • Restrictions on leasing. Possible reasons:  high percentage of rentals may make community unappealing to lenders; same safety and security concerns with guests/visitors.
  • Restrictions on elevator use. Possible reasons: certain activities associated with a move or a unit renovation may result in damage to the elevator and/or unavailability to other residents for a prolonged period of time; harsh or abnormal use is likely to result in expensive repairs.
  • Pet restrictions.  Possible reasons:  pets create certain issues connected with their maintenance including noise, waste, and possible injury to others.
  • Head-in parking.  Possible reason:  ???
What rules have you seen that made you scratch your head and wonder: Why?


  1. dickhata@aol.comMay 27, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    Our Board had a change the Dococuments/ Rules & Regulations vote this year and lost.

    One reason is: We each have deeded 26' boat slips. We changed the R& R's to allow only 24" boats in them because, if one has a 26' boat and the motor is lifted out of the water it enters the neighboring slip space

    Theoretically having a 26' boat in a 26' slip doesn't work due to the motor extension & lift.

    We were voted down on that issue! What was the real reason?

  2. Many condominium communities have head-in parking for the following reasons - first, the tailpipes are not pointed toward their homes. In many of these, the parking is in front of buildings. Second, in many communities, the sidewalks are close to the parking areas. When people back in, the trunk (which is typically higher) tends to hang over the sidewalk. This creates a hazard and space issue. Sometimes spaces are not over sidewalks, but they are over common landscaping and other areas and create maintenance problems. Lastly, and probably least important is the aesthetic perception or look. These are a few reasons that often get lost over time, particularly when it is not enforced.

  3. With regard to the 26' boat slip.

    To accomplish your goal I would suggest you move away from the size of the boat and focus on the maximum protrusion a boat may or may not have into the channel. Example = "0'"

    Fla. LCAM

  4. I think to try to make things more efficient, that's the goal anyway, not always achieved. Having a helpful set of guidelines helps! Here is a link to some:

  5. There are two reasons for in facing parking.
    First it is easier to do so.

    Secondly it is a requirement in order to allow police or other enforcement officers to easily identify the car by its tag since we have no front tag in Florida.

    The other reasons raised are valid for bockage of side walk as well as exhaust fumes

  6. Our condo has a rule against allowing young children who are not potty trained to swim in the public pool, even though it is not a 55+ community and it is the State of FL. Is this discriminiative against families with young children and is the rule legally sound?