How to Write Condominium Bylaws

By Contributor
Condominium bylaws, all residents

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Write condominium bylaws to address the issues condo residents must deal with in communal living. Each condo community is different; the communal property has its own amenities and features that require specific bylaws to be written to cover all of these individual characteristics. When writing condo rules, be specific and clear about what is accepted so that potential condo owners can abide by the homeowners association rules. This way, homeowners can make an informed decision before buying and live comfortably once they move in.

It is not necessary to reinvent the wheel to write condominium bylaws. All homeowners associations cover similar topics. Get a sample of bylaws that are in use elsewhere as a starting place. Review these bylaws to become familiar with them.

Gather existing or potential homeowners who know the particular features of the association. To address the specific communal property, a list of topics specific to your condominium community is needed as well as knowledgeable parties who know the details.

Discuss the condo property with the homeowners to get all opinions and facts on the table. Begin to write condominium bylaws by marking up the sample bylaws. Use highlighters to mark wording in the sample bylaws that stay. Use red pens to mark out wording that is not needed.

List what the homeowners association dues cover. This may include the exterior of the building such as the roof, siding, painting, any utilities that are paid, pool and lawn maintenance, and insurance.

Each set of condominium rules is different. Be specific and clear about what is accepted for potential condo owners.

Areas to cover may include the following:

Animals -- Are pets allowed? If so, all pets? Only cats? Dogs under 30 pounds? Snakes?

Antennas and Satellite Dishes -- Are they allowed? Where can they be placed? Is approval needed before buying and installing them?

Dues -- How much are they? What do they cover? When are they due? Is there a late fee?

Noise -- Are there hours for quiet time? What are they? How can homeowners complain?

Renters -- Can homeowners rent out their unit?

Trash -- What are the rules for trash and recycling?

Windows -- What colors of window frames are acceptable on replacement windows? Is permission needed to buy new windows?

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