RE: Are CC&R's and Bylaws Binding?
From: David Heimann (
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2006 19:21:19 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Norman,

To my knowledge (at least in Massachusetts, though I would imagine all the 50 states), the condominium documents are indeed legally binding! Even if someone or everyone considers them boilerplate, they are legally binding boilerplate. No one in the community has the option of ignoring them!

In any event, our community did consense on the condo docs (after a whole lot of discussions!), regarding them as serious business to be considered carefully and faithfully followed.

David Heimann
JP Cohousing

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2006 21:37:48 -0700
From: "OCCNG11" <normangauss [at]>
Subject: [C-L]_ Are CC&R's and Bylaws Binding?
To: "Cohousing-L" <cohousing-l [at]>
Message-ID: <001501c66434$2d6134a0$6401a8c0@Anne>
Content-Type: text/plain;       charset="iso-8859-1"

When I moved into our California cohousing community, I had assumed that the Governing Documents (CC&R's and Bylaws) that came with our condominium units were indeed the standard rules and regulations that would be respected, observed, and upheld by every member in our community.

Yet when I moved in, I was shocked to learn that these Governing Documents are regarded by several key people as just boilerplate submitted to the California Department of Real Estate to establish the legitimacy of our Common Interest Development. Ever since then, there has been an ongoing debate about the degree to which we are obligated to follow the Governing Documents.

There seems to be an attitude that the only rules and regulations we have to observe are those that we agree to by consensus in community-wide meetings. Since almost nobody has read the Governing Documents, we wind up debating issues that are already decided in our Governing Documents.

Does anybody have any perspective of whether the CC&R's and Bylaws are legally binding? Does the community have the option of ignoring the Governing Documents?

Norm Gauss


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