Condo Living - Why are rules created

property management rules and documents

The importance of rules, especially in shared living environments such as condominium properties, is paramount to having all owners and residents residing in harmony. Or at the very least, ensuring that there is a minimum standard of responsibility and expectation for all to abide by.

The Condominium Act is very clear. Everyone must comply. They must comply with not only the Act, but the corporation’s declarations, by-law and rules.

Rules are created, added, deleted and modified by the Board, who in turn are elected (in most instances) by the majority of property owners. These rules must be reasonable, not be in contravention of the Act, declarations, by-laws or any other governing legislation.

For example, if the declarations permit animals up to a maximum of 40 lbs, a board may not create a rule prohibiting pets from the condo. Instead, they may create a rule, which restricts how animals are transported through the building, or where owners should place their pet’s excrement.

When creating a rule, a board must answer three important questions:

  1. Is the rule reasonable;

  2. How will the corporation ensure compliance, otherwise known as duty to act;

  3. Will the rule benefit the majority

There is great literature on the merits of rules, and the bigger issue to enforce or not to enforce. The legal doctrine “de minimis non curat lex” (the law is not concerned with trifling things) is the golden standard when assessing most situations in determining is a breach is trivial or an isolated event.

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