What Motivates Rule Changes

May 2021

Rules establish a standard of behaviour protecting condo residents.  Activities are prohibited when viewed as detrimental.  Rules periodically change because the people in a community change.  Seniors, singles and young families have different priorities.  Pets and children require outdoor space and grass for play.  An older demographic is content with maintaining space for relaxation.

Condo boards can be slower to change their perception of the community.  Thinking ten years in the past is not uncommon.  A board comprised of retirees may not recognize the different interests and preferences of a younger demographic that may now be a majority in the community.


It was once acceptable to smoke anywhere regardless of impact on those nearby.  Today it is unacceptable to smoke in restaurants, airplanes or at work.  It is unacceptable to smoke in a condo home without taking measures to ensure smoke and odour does not bother others.  Communities struggle with adapting their rules to comply with  laws while maintaining protections demanded by a majority of residents who are non-smokers.


It is no longer allowable to prohibit pets from most  buildings.  Pets, while important to some, create problems and challenges for a community.  Pet owners will cite the benefits of having them around.  Non-pet owners are concerned with noise, waste, odour, damage, fear of being attacked, and financial costs.

Children and Teens

Older communities have rules geared to their adult population.  As a younger generation moves in community interests change.  Older residents want to retain rules reflecting their use of common areas.  A younger generation may desire access for reasons or during hours that may disturb an older population.  Rules limiting access to a basketball court or playground to daylight hours may have to change to reflect a younger population.  Young professionals may oppose exercise space being unavailable before 8 am and after 8 pm.  Spaces unused by an older population may require updating and new equipment to accommodate a younger demographic.


Evolving technology has changed expectations.  At one time many buildings included cable television service among amenities paid by condo fees during a time when land lines were necessary for telephone and internet service.  Mobile telephones and wireless internet have replaced land lines.  Today’s entertainment options are more diverse with separate service required for access to the internet.  Some prefer traditional cable service while others prefer Netflix.

With diversity of choice has come confusion.  With no single service provider that everyone can agree upon for telephone, internet and “television” it is difficult to revise governing documents to provide these services and obtain bulk pricing discounts.  It has become more common for each unit to purchase and pay for the services they desire.