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Subject: ByLaws, R&R, P&P oh my?
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JoanQ
(California)

Posts:20


01/10/2019 6:16 PM  
I presented a request for a change to the Rules and Regulations at our Shareholder meeting tonight (this is a co-op). I printed out the Rules and Regulations that I was requesting to be changed. The Board all started talking about the "By-laws" and how they spent so much time on them and they wanted nothing to do with what I presented. My question is we have By-law, Rules and Regulations and Policy and Procedures and the Board seems to think the are all By-laws - am I missing something?? I even printed out section of Davis-Stirling (I'm in California) showing the differences between the 3 and they all insist all these documents are By-laws - I'm I the dummy here?? If I am please educate me.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1393


01/10/2019 8:12 PM  
Probably the board are the dummies. I had a similar issue. About 5 years ago the board was calling the CCRs "Bylaws" and apparently did not even have a copy of the actual bylaws. That prompted me to supply the bylaws, run again for the board, and engage in some education.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6350


01/11/2019 3:53 PM  
If your rule change request actually was about a topic already in the bylaws, then you really did request a change to the bylaws.

At the beginning of your CC&Rs, you might have definitions or sort of a glossary of terms y used in your CC&Rs. In ours, the difference between bylaws and rules & regs is made pretty clear. If you have such a document, copying it might be better to present to the board.

It's also possible that what you're calling a "rule' really should be in your CC&Rs or bylaws.

But It's very possible that Douglas is right. Because the word bylaws has the word "law" in it, many people think it's the same as a rule. They are wrong.

How about telling us what rule you'd like to change or add. We might be able to tell you where it "belongs."
JoanQ
(California)

Posts:20


01/11/2019 5:26 PM  
It is currently in the Rules and Regulations part of our documents. I printed it out for everyone (Board and Shareholders) and highlighted the change requested. Basically it's one sentence that currently prohibits Friends from staying in our units without the shareholder being present. The majority of shareholders would like to allow Friends to stay at the shareholders discretion.

They also have a Policy Manual, with the word Policy at the top of each document, but state inside the Policy "Be is resolved that the following regulations and procedures be adopted ..... " some are voted on, some are not and no Board member can tell me which is which. It's very frustrating being new to this co-op and having no confidence in anyone on the Board.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8079


01/12/2019 4:55 AM  
Is your HOA eligible for FHA type loans? The reason ask is that it may be that rule has to be in there to be compliant to be eligible for certain loan programs or age restrictions. Not sure how that all works. However, if your HOA's intention is to be a 55 Plus type community then this rule may be required.

BTW: What is the punishment for violating such rule? It may be a rule but what happens and who is to report it's violated?

Former HOA President
JoanQ
(California)

Posts:20


01/12/2019 7:58 AM  
We are a co-op so shares of the corporation are transferred to a new owner. We have been a 55+ community since 1957-58 when these places were built. All transfers of shares are cash only. No loans. punishment for violating the rule? depends, basically ignored, or on a very rare occasion fined $1,000. We do have a few shareholders that constantly break the rules, but seems like nothing happens to them.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:243


01/12/2019 7:59 AM  
Posted By JoanQ on 01/11/2019 5:26 PM
It is currently in the Rules and Regulations part of our documents. I printed it out for everyone (Board and Shareholders) and highlighted the change requested. Basically it's one sentence that currently prohibits Friends from staying in our units without the shareholder being present. The majority of shareholders would like to allow Friends to stay at the shareholders discretion.

They also have a Policy Manual, with the word Policy at the top of each document, but state inside the Policy "Be is resolved that the following regulations and procedures be adopted ..... " some are voted on, some are not and no Board member can tell me which is which. It's very frustrating being new to this co-op and having no confidence in anyone on the Board.




I'd mentioned in a different thread that 55-and-over communities are exempt from certain Fair Housing provisions. In exchange for this exemption, the community must abide by a specific set of requirements - if they fail to do so, they can (and probably will) lose their 55-and-over status.

I certainly understand the Board's hesitation on this, and you should try to understand it from their point. You are a new resident in what sounds like an established community, and you want to start changing the rules under which the community has been functioning.

In addition - and I'm speaking as someone who has worked in new home sales in a 55-and-over community - the governing documents, rules and regs, and even the marketing materials are vetted by attorneys to make sure they meet the requirements for that designation. Folks who start ad libbing on any of it put the community at risk for losing their status. In your Board's place, I'd want to run any changes past the association's attorney to make sure there aren't unintended consequences that will conflict with other requirements. Given that this will cost money, I'd expect to debate with the rest of the Board on whether the benefit of changing the rules will justify spending the money.

I recommend firing up your Google fu and educating yourself about 55-and-over communities and the various hoops they need to jump through to maintain that status. Certainly the change you're asking for sounds pretty benign, but one thing I've learned serving on the Board of my community is that issues are never as simple as they appear. If this is still a hill you want to die on, I suggest consulting an expert first.
JoanQ
(California)

Posts:20


01/12/2019 8:19 AM  
Hi Cathy, - thank you for your reply and insight. Yes I'm a newby but several shareholders (many who have lived here over 8 years) signed the original letter to the Board requesting a committee be formed to research this issue. The Board President stonewalled our request and put us on the agenda under shareholder input (these are basically comments and no action can be taken). This community is still working under the 1957-58 by-laws with very little changes. Before I purchased I personally researched this community and read all the documents provided. Unfortunately, and this is a big one, I was given outdated documents during the buying process and two major "policies" were not included in the buyers package. I have confirmed with 3 other buyers out of 7 that also purchased around the same time period, received outdated documents. But that's a whole other issue.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:243


01/12/2019 9:15 AM  
Posted By JoanQ on 01/12/2019 8:19 AM
Hi Cathy, - thank you for your reply and insight. Yes I'm a newby but several shareholders (many who have lived here over 8 years) signed the original letter to the Board requesting a committee be formed to research this issue. The Board President stonewalled our request and put us on the agenda under shareholder input (these are basically comments and no action can be taken). This community is still working under the 1957-58 by-laws with very little changes. Before I purchased I personally researched this community and read all the documents provided. Unfortunately, and this is a big one, I was given outdated documents during the buying process and two major "policies" were not included in the buyers package. I have confirmed with 3 other buyers out of 7 that also purchased around the same time period, received outdated documents. But that's a whole other issue.




That sounds like a typical association issue: you start looking at something that appears straightforward and find a tangled mess underneath. Unfortunately you can't force a board to address anything - an owner's only option is to get together with like minded neighbors and get elected to the board. Even so, it will still be majority rule (that's the nature of these communities) - a single board member doesn't have the authority to force a change. So you need to have enough like minded folks on the board in order to make things happen.

It may be interesting to find out just what percentage of owners support the rule change vs. how many support the status quo. The board may believe (or may actual know) that the majority prefer things as they are. Or, given the age of the community, that the existing rule was put into place at some point after unaccompanied guests had caused problems for the community (not an unheard of event - and I can see how allowing this could be used to evade the age limitation). Of course as a new resident you would be unaware of the community's history - which is why boards in general can be resistant when asked to change things that they believe are working just fine as they are.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8267


01/12/2019 11:19 AM  
Typically owners will have to vote on Covenant and/or Bylaw changes but the BOD alone can change Rules & Regulations. Are we talking the same language?
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:158


01/14/2019 7:23 AM  
In my experience it's very common for members to refer to all the governing documents as "the bylaws" because they just don't know the difference between them or don't care to remember.
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