The rules and regulations that owners and residents in a condominium or homeowners’ association must follow “are what they are,” says James Donnelly. “Most are reasonable and well accepted.” Yet, Donnelly takes issue with one rule at the Fort Lauderdale high-rise condominium where he lives; no more than six guests per owner are allowed in the pool area at any one time. “But what if I’m having a birthday party?” Donnelly wonders.
Donnelly approaches such regimentation from two perspectives: as an owner constrained by a rule he questions, and as founder and chief executive officer of Plantation-based Castle Group, which enforces rules and regulations for more than 200 Florida associations, with a total of 75,000 units.
Where Responsibility Lies
Enforcement is just one aspect of managing a planned community’s amenities, but it’s a big one. Amenities management follows a convoluted chain of command, from the developer who builds the amenities to the owners and boards who inherit them.
“The developer sets the initial rules and regulations. When the board takes control, the knee-jerk reaction is to undo as much as they can,” says Meghan DeLuca, who works for Lang Management as community manager at Valencia Palms POA, Inc. in Delray Beach.
The board in turn delegates responsibility to the property manager and his or her staff to administer the amenities (and the reservations if required for their use), to keep them clean and safe, and to ensure that they are being used according to the rules and regulations.