May 2022 Newsletter

May 1st, 2022

HOA Bylaws – What are they and how do you enforce them?

When there is any issue/dispute/matter of concern in an Home Owner Association (HOA), most parties refer to the HOA Bylaws as the focal and end all in terms of authority.  Perhaps it is that the word “law” is included in they name Bylaws or the general widespread usage of the word Bylaws that make people believe that this is where the answers are. 

They are wrong.

Bylaws are not even the second most authoritative HOA document

  • HOAs have several documents commonly referred to as Governing Documents or CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions)
  • Bylaws is one of these documents
  • The priority list – ranked by most authoritative to least;
    1. Article of Incorporation (and any Amendments)
    2. Declaration (and any Amendments)
    3. Bylaws
    4. Covenants/Restrictions – such as Architectural Control Guidelines, Rules and Regulations
  • Bylaws are actually the lowest authoritative document that is legal binding 

What are in Bylaws

  • Contents include how the HOA, the Board of Directors (“Board”), and relate should operate
  • Items include mundane topics like;
    • Frequency of Board meetings
    • Board terms, duties, and responsibilities
    • Owner meetings
    • HOA disclosure and reporting items
    • What happens if Board vacancies
    • Officer terms, positions

What are not in Bylaws

  • Most things that owners really are interested in
  • Things like;
    • Definitions of Common Elements, Limited Common Elements
    • Who is responsible for Maintenance, insurance, most things that actually impact owners living in HOAs
    • Items addressing matters like;
      • Pets
      • At Home Businesses, 
      • Renting/leasing
      • What owners can and cannot do

Bylaws are not required to be recorded 

  • In most states, Bylaws lack the requirements to be filed or recorded at the County or State where the HOA is located
  • Bylaws generally can be easily changed by the Board only in most instances
  • The nature of this provides an indication that the document itself is not the most authoritative
  • This is most common misconception of owners in HOA

What should Owners know?

  • The HOA Declaration is the most authoritative and has most answers to questions that arise
  • When making decisions, planning or considering, owners should always consult the Declaration first
  • Always ask the HOA and/or professional HOA management company for the Declaration even when someone is asking for the Bylaws

Bylaws are Useful and Important for some things

  • Owners can find useful things in the Bylaws, particularly when issues arise over;
    • how the HOA is run, 
    • Board acting or not acting
    • Concerns of meetings, notices, and related
    • Rights and duties of the Board, Owners and HOA
  • Think of the Bylaws as more procedural references on how the HOA and Board should operate
    • The Declaration is more what legally the HOA must and does not have to do – and same for Owners

Bylaws and CCR&s overall can be confusing to owners and parties working with HOAs.  It’s best to ask for all documents if someone simply asks for Bylaws to prevent another follow up or misunderstandings.


As the summer months approach, JSP Toolbox is here to keep your association running smoothly. It is our pleasure to provide the right tools for the job, which is why we have included some events and ideas in this month’s blog post to get your association out and about to enjoy the nice weather. 


Memorial DayAmerican_Flags

Memorial Day is the day in which the United States of America honors men and women who have died while serving the United States Armed Forces. At 3:00 pm local time, the National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause for a minute of silence to remember those who lost their lives in service to the nation.  Read more


Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 8th, marks the day we celebrate motherhood and the influence of mothers in our society. Take this time to appreciate mothers and all that they do.



Planes_air_ShowLos Angeles, CA: Vegest L.A. All Vegan Festival

Denver, CO: Battle of Puebla Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Atlanta, GA: Atlanta Air Show

New York City, NY: NYC to Niagra Falls Plane Day Trip

Dallas, TX: Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

Charlotte, NC: Special Operations Medical Association Scientific Assembly

Iowa Great Lakes, IA: Walleye Weekend



Interested in the daily status of the Corona Virus? View our nation’s updates on COVID-19 here:


JSP Toolbox is an online suite of tools and resources that empowers homeowner associations (HOAs) to manage themselves, easily and affordably. Learn more about JSP Toolbox