By Rafael Aquino  

Published June 5, 2024  


Rules are essential for maintaining order and ensuring a harmonious living environment in community associations. However, I believe in quality over quantity when it comes to rules. Excessive or overly complex rules often feel like "gotcha" traps rather than meaningful guidelines addressing real issues. Effective rules should be simple, clear, and concise, ensuring they serve the community's best interests without becoming a burden.


The primary purpose of rules in a community association should be to promote health, safety, and welfare. They must be reasonable and not arbitrary. For instance, a rule that bans blue cars in the community would be unreasonable and likely unenforceable. Rules must have a valid purpose directly relating to the well-being of residents.


It's also crucial that any new rules do not contradict the association's governing documents. For example, if the declaration of the condominium states that pets are permitted, the board cannot introduce a rule banning pets entirely. Instead, a more practical rule could specify the allowed weight limit for pets. This approach keeps the rule straightforward and aligned with the existing regulations, making it easier for residents to understand and comply with.


Before implementing any rules, it's essential to check the association's bylaws or articles of incorporation to determine the board's power. Some documents may only grant the board the authority to make rules about using common elements, while others may extend this power to include unit or parcel use. Working closely with the association's attorney during this process ensures that any new rules are legally sound and enforceable.


Another critical consideration is the association's ability to enforce the rules. When creating new rules, the board must evaluate whether the association has the necessary staff or resources to enforce them effectively. Rules that cannot be consistently enforced may lead to frustration and non-compliance among residents.


In conclusion, effective rules are those that are necessary, reasonable, and easy to understand. They should enhance the living experience within the community without creating unnecessary complications. Community associations can foster a more positive and cooperative environment by keeping rules simple and ensuring they have a clear purpose.


Reflect on your community's rules: Are they clear and purposeful, or do they create confusion and frustration? Simplifying and clarifying rules, as well as collaborating with your association attorney and management, can lead to a more harmonious community.

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As the Co-Founder and CEO of Affinity Management Services, Rafael P. Aquino leads his team to redefine excellence. They serve community   associations   efficiently

and effectively with dedication and passion. Rafael’s energy and positive spirit is the foundation of Affinity Management Services’ company culture, which instills enthusiasm and excitement when providing expert advice to its board members and relieving the day-to-day burdens of running a community association.


Since 2007, Rafael has developed a work culture that values responsive and high-quality services. He has led his team by following a proactive vs reactive philosophy. The same approach Rafael instills in the day to day operations of each association. Today, Affinity Management Services maintains its success and benefits as a result of the foundation Rafael has built and continues to foster by providing educational seminars, continuing education classes for association managers and board members alike.

Rafael and his team help condominium and homeowners’ associations save money and improve their communities. His calm, personable, and service-oriented nature helps him to establish strong relationships with ease. Rafael is known as a sincere and honest leader who looks out for the best interests of his clients and communities, and he strongly advocates for their needs. His role requires coordination and communication, as such he takes logical and intelligent steps to approach challenges head-on.

As a graduate of Florida International University’s electrical engineering program and a licensed community association manager, Rafael’s education and skills equip him with unique insights to tackle complex problems through critical thinking. He understands how each component within a system works together in order to effectively arrive at solutions, techniques, and conclusions. Therefore, as he manages the multiple challenges of running a community association management company, he understands how each property is its own unique system and tailors’ specific services to assure that all their needs are met.

For more information about Rafael P. Aquino and Affinity Management Services please visit or call 1-800-977-6279

Doral Office: 8200 NW 41st ST

Suite 200

Doral, FL 33166

Broward Office: 150 S Pine Island RD Suite 300

Plantation, FL 33324

O: 800-977-6279 ● F: 305-325-4053

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