Article Courtesy of Hi-Riser
By FALLAN PATTERSON
Published April 24, 2009
After combining its bylaws and forcing all 44 of its associations to live under the same rules, Wynmoor Village in Coconut Creek is facing concerns among residents that too many rules may be scaring potential condo buyers away.
Wynmoor's 44 independent condominium associations, which are between 15 and 30 years old, represent about 9,000 residents living in 5,260 units. The Wynmoor Community Council, the master association, recently had the opportunity to unify the bylaws of all associations for free through its lawyer.
"We had the opportunity to save the community a lot of money and change our bylaws," said Jack Deitchman, secretary of the council. "We upgraded to the greatest hits. We're pretty proud of the way we run things here."
Although the move will save each association $20,000, some residents are afraid the proliferation of rules will make selling their units more difficult.
Cheryl Stein, Wynmoor's real estate agent, said last week less than 1 percent of Wynmoor's units are on the market, roughly 199 out of 5,260 condos.
"Most people who buy into a condo know about deed restrictions, especially baby boomers," said Stein, who also lives in Wynmoor. "Rules and regulations keep the community looking good. I think it's a good thing."
Deitchman, along with council administrator Bruce Bandler, said the decision to update the bylaws was intended to ensure economic stability and keep the community out of the red.
"By having the same procedures, it makes it easier on everybody," Dietchman said. "With the high level of foreclosures and abandonment [at other condominium communities], we're doing good."
Out of the 44 associations, Deitchman and Bandler said that at least 38 will accept the new bylaws, which were prepared by an eight-person committee of unit owners.
Of the new changes, possibly the most controversial for buyers may be the 20 percent down payment to purchase and minimum requirements for both annual income and credit score.
"We laid these [bylaws] down as guidelines. The associations can accept them or not," Dietchman said. "If [potential buyers] don't like to live by any rules, they shouldn't live in these places."
To protect the community, a renter agreement form was also designed in which both parties agree that if the owner stops paying the association and maintenance fees, the rent goes straight to the board, bypassing the unit owner.
Assistant condo ombudsman Bill Raphan said the most frequent complaints about rules and regulations in associations have to do with pets and age restrictions.
"There's so much inventory right now," Raphan said. "It's a problem where associations are not approving people. They don't want to take a risk."