HOA Information Station: 5 Ways to Determine When a Rule Becomes a Rule

June 15, 2016    Margo Crummack CEO/Principal    Education


I’m often asked who creates the rules, and also what determines a rule. Each stands alone with it’s own standards but let’s break it down.

The Board is granted the authority to write the rules. The Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs) typically provide for this authority under the Association General Duties and Powers. But in order for their rules to be valid and enforceable, a rule must satisfy all of the following requirements as provided for in California Civil Code Section 4350. The legal codes keep everyone in check, which is a very good thing.



  1. The Rule must be in writing.
  2. The Rule is within the authority of the Board conferred by law or by the CC&Rs, Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws.
  3. The Rule is not inconsistent with governing law, the CC&Rs, Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws.
  4. The Rule is adopted, amended or repealed in good faith and in substantial compliance with the requirements of Article 4 of Title 6 of Part4 of Division 2 of the California Civil Code.
  5. The Rule is reasonable.

Prior to adoption or when making any amendments, I recommend you seek legal counsel to review the document prior to sending it out for the thirty (30) day homeowner commentary period. This will ensure you not only have a good rule, but it is confirmed that it complies with California Civil Code.

For guidance, look to your professional management company.  Also, the Community Association’s Institute (CAI) has a terrific guide for creating association rules entitled “Be Reasonable! How Community Associations Can Enforce Rules Without Antagonizing Residents, Going to Court or Starting World War III.”  


Rules exist to help keep order by providing guidelines for the enjoyment of common areas and should help foster a peaceful existence among community residents—that’s it. They should not be created to be heavy-handed, creating fears of fines among homeowners for minor issues. If an infraction does occur, it’s important for management and the Board to give residents the benefit of the doubt and work with them.    


Sometimes rules also become obsolete.  Ultimately, it is the Board’s responsibility to adopt rules that address their particular community’s needs, re-visit them periodically and adjust accordingly. This change may come from the Board or be inspired by a recommendation from your community. At Crummack Huseby, we treat each and every community different for this very reason. Listen to the Board, the homeowners, and take a look at the community around you. All of this affects the perception of the rules as well.

Following these tips will help inspire a peaceful community and allow you to see how rules can be a great ally to the Board.

I look forward to hearing about your own experiences and tips!


Margo co-founded Crummack Huseby Property Management, Inc., over 17 years ago when she saw a need for a more customized and personalized approach to community management. Margo along with co-founder Sandra Woods Huseby's mission was to create a breath of fresh air within their industry: to create an open dialogue with communities, to focus on the core of a community, and to customize management styles to suit what’s best for that particular community.
As an expert in New Project Development, Margo is often invited to consult from day one. Her work ethic is respected and valued—when she says she’ll do it, it gets done. One of Margo’s crown jewels is the beautiful 20-Merchant Builder Master Planned Community that she consulted on back in 1999 and still manages today.

Always advocating for continued learning, Margo encourages an environment of “training, motivating, and innovating” for herself, Crummack Huseby’s employees, and their clients. She is also a well-respected speaker and educator within the industry, serving on the Education Committee for CAI-OC and CACM’s Education Review Committee.  

Our team of HOA experts and community managers always puts people first. We know you’re not just a board of directors but you’re a part of the community, working together with your neighbors. Crummack Huseby Property Management, Inc., treats you like a neighbor too, respecting your decisions and collaborating to create a unique homeowner experiences all year long. Our unmistakable team and unparalleled approach to HOA management services sets us apart. Let us help your community stand out. When you’re ready for us, we’ll be here for you.  For more information, visit ch-pm.com or call 888-399-9430

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