Part V: Community Rule Development & Enforcement- Resolutions
Continuing on with our series on Rule Development and Enforcement for Communication Associations, this week we delve into the topic of Resolutions.
There are four basic types of resolutions for a community association:
1. Policy Resolutions:
Affect owner’s rights and obligations and usually address ambiguities and omissions in the declaration. (For example, pool rules, architectural guidelines, and enforcement procedures.)
2. Administrative Resolutions:
Address the internal operations of the community association and usually address ambiguities and omissions in the bylaws. (For example, a collection policy, an e-mail communication policy, or a unit rental policy.)
3. Special Resolutions:
These are resolutions setting board decisions that apply a policy or rule to an individual situation. (For example, a decision about an alleged architectural violation.)
4. General Resolutions:
These are resolutions which involve routine events. (For example, the adoption of the annual budget.)
There may be special uses of resolutions to clarify ambiguous or vague provisions of the governing documents or to address areas not mentioned. In some cases, the community association may be able to use resolutions in lieu of amending the governing documents. However, if the documents are clear, such as the requirement to impose a $5 late charge, then the only means to change the amount is by the amendment process which involves a vote of the owners.
- The governing documents may not state when assessments are past due. The board, through an administrative resolution, could adopt a reasonable past due date.
- The governing documents provide that the association is responsible for the exterior maintenance and painting of the unit door and that the owner is responsible for the interior maintenance and painting of the unit door. However, they do not specify who is responsible for replacing the door itself, or painting its edge. The Board, through a policy resolution, could adopt a policy requiring the unit owner to be responsible for the replacement and edge painting of the door.
Benefits of Using a Resolution Process to Adopt Rules: A resolution is a motion that follows a set format and is formally adopted. There are several benefits to using the resolution process to adopt rules as opposed to using the simpler process of making motions in a board meeting.
The resolution process:
- Provides a thorough, deliberate approach to making rules
- Provides for consistency in making and wording rules
- Provides a formal record of all rules made
As a result, the process protects owners from arbitrary board actions, and protects the community from charges that could result in invalid and unenforceable rules.
Resolution Format: A resolution contains four sections. The acronym PASS is a helpful mnemonic device:
P – Purpose
A – Authority
S – Scope and Intent
S - Specifications
This section states why a rule is being adopted. For example: “WHEREAS, there is a need to adopt specific rules on parking….”
This section cites the primary source(s) of a board’s authority to make a rule on the topic. Possible sources include statutes, declaration, articles of incorporation, and bylaws. For example: “WHEREAS the board of directors of ______ Homeowners Association, Inc. is empowered to govern the affairs of the homeowners association pursuant to Article X of the bylaws….”
3. Scope to Intent:
This section states:
a) Who will be affected
b) For what period of time
c) The reach or range and extent of the rule
d) Penalties for noncompliance
For example, “WHEREAS it is the intent that this rule shall be applicable to all owners, tenants, guests, invitees, or any others who have vehicles entering upon the common areas and this resolution shall remain in effect until otherwise rescinded, modified, or amended by a majority of the board of directors.”
This section states clearly and completely what those bound by the rule will be expected to do. For example, “NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the following rules on parking and hereby adopted by the board of directors:
Revised Article IV, Section D of the parking rules will read: Parking spaces which are not marked “reserved” shall be available on a “first-come-first-served” basis for visitors, guests, second cars, etc. No inoperable vehicle or vehicles with invalid registrations may park in these spaces. Owners of such vehicles are subject to the vehicle being towed at the owner’s expense.
Missed the first part of this series? Click here to read Part 1 of Rule Development and Enforcement.