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What to include in condo association bylaws

If you own a condo, chances are that you are also a member of the association governing its use. With new condos popping up in the Denver area, prospective buyers may be interested in learning more about how associations come together and write the rules. Balancing the need to maintain property values while giving owners sovereignty within their homes is tricky, but it all starts with a well-written set of guidelines for both ownership and governance.

What might be included in a set of condo association rules?

No one can account for every problem that might arise, but giving yourself and other owners room within the rules to deal with a situation in a practical manner is key to effective management. Condo associations deal with the interests of many different people, but everyone has to play by the rules, not only of your association but by state and local laws as well.

Because there is a delicate balance between the community interest in management and the personal interest in ownership, your association may wish to turn to an attorney for guidance. Questions to address in association bylaws might include:

  • Who is part of the association?
  • Who can serve on the association board?
  • How is the board elected?
  • How are rules changed?
  • How are ownership conflicts decided?
  • How much will owners pay in dues?
  • How will maintenance contracts be managed?

While answering these questions may seem difficult, you as the owner of a condo have the ability to write the associations rules for yourself. Your voice may just be one of a few dozen on the property, so if you want to get involved, you have the opportunity for influence from the bottom up.

Managing rules for the bottom up and the top down

However, sometimes rules come from the top down via city and state government that you must also incorporate in your bylaws. For example, a new state law now governs how a condo association might decide to sue a construction company for defects. As the condominium market grows in the Denver area, so could state and local laws governing their development and ownership.

Writing effective condo association bylaws with the help of a neutral third-party can assist in ensuring the interests of all owners are met fairly and in accordance with the law.

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