Rule Breakers, Rule Followers, and Rule Enforcers By Melissa Esham 5/18/2016 Any community association is governed by a set of by-laws or other governing document that outlines a set of rules for the residents of the community. Managers are taught to rely on these documents and refer to them regularly. Owners and residents are responsible for reading and understanding the rules of the community and then following them appropriately. Rule Breakers - There are a few types of rule breakers. The smart resident that knows the rules but can interpret the bylaws in multiple ways to get to the result of their choice. The resident who read the rules and consciously objects to them on some level and so waits to be caught. The resident who never read the rules and really didn't know they were breaking them on any level. Rule Followers - These are the residents who know, respect and follow the rules. They will even ask their guest to follow the rules. Rule Enforcers - Residents who will call management or the Board when they see someone else breaking the rules. Residents who will initiate contact with another resident or guest who is breaking the rules. Rules are intended to help a community live in harmony. So the person who is confrontational with neighbors about rule violations may cause more issues for the Board of Directors and management than someone who is obviously and knowingly breaking a rule. A good rule is enforceable. Rule enforcement requires due process, it is not immediate or swift. Some behaviors are against the law, and residents should be urged to call the authorities to make those complaints. Rule violations are a common cause of D&O claims. Does your community have a procedure on how to handle violations? Is that procedure followed for every violation? Thanks for reading.