Since Board positions are volunteer, and Board members are not professionally trained in association management, it is necessary for us to assist in the implementation of policies and procedures of the associations we manage. Since changing your original governing documents is nearly impossible in most associations in Virginia, the most common method to amend your documents is through a Board Resolution. However, when is it appropriate for a homeowners’ association board to draft a resolution? Resolutions are more formal than a simple motion. They should be used whenever the issue is complex, lengthy or formal. Resolutions are most commonly used when the board must enact rules or formalize policy. The resolution becomes the basis for consistency around rules and policy and it provides a formal record of the board’s decision.
The process of writing a resolution requires a very thorough approach and is in itself a litmus test for the basis of the resolution. It should spell out: who, why, what and how. We’ll approach this using the example of a community in which the CC&Rs state that if a homeowner violates the rules, they will be subject to fines and other penalties levied by the association. Unfortunately the community’s documents stop short and does not provide further detail outlining how the CC&R’s will be enforced, what the fines will be, or when will they be levied. Under this set of circumstances, a resolution can be written to provide more clarity for both the homeowners and the board.
Who – A resolution should cite the specific authority of the board to make a rule or policy on the subject. Citing state statute, the association’s bylaws or CC&R’s. Cite specific sections whenever possible. For Example;
WHEREAS, Article VIII of the bylaws gives the board of directors the authority to adopt, publish and enforce rules and regulations governing permitted and prohibited uses and restrictions within the association, and…..
Why – It should also spell out the purpose of the resolution. Why is this rule or policy needed? For Example;
WHEREAS there is a need for a clear and consistent enforcement policy governing all homeowners and the board,
What and How- The resolution concludes with a clear statement (including specifics) of the new policy or rule. For Example;
“NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the board will enact the following covenant enforcement policy as follows:
- Any homeowner wanting to report a violation of any covenant governing the association must do so in writing addressed to the board.
- Upon receipt or notification of the alleged rule violation(s), the board shall review the complaint and, upon determination that a violation(s) has occurred, shall give to the homeowner determined to be in violation informal notification by way of either a telephone call, personal visit, or note on the door.
- Following informal notification, if the offending homeowner has not, within a reasonable time corrected the violation(s), the homeowner will receive a written letter stating the specific violation, action needed to remedy the violation and warning of possible penalty.
- If, following the above, the violation(s) still remains uncorrected, a second written notice shall be given to the offending homeowner offering a hearing date at which time the board shall address the violation(s)
- The board will render a decision in writing and deliver it to the offending homeowner within 10 days following the hearing. Should the board find the offending homeowner to be in violation, a $5.00 a day penalty retroactive to the hearing date shall be assessed. Note: should the offending homeowner remedy the violation(s) prior to the receipt of the board’s decision, the matter shall be deemed closed and any penalty cost shall be waived.
- If, after 14 days, the violation(s) still remains uncorrected, the board shall have the right to remedy the violation(s) by way of the provisions set forth in Section XXII of the declarations, and the cost of which shall be bore by the offending homeowner.
- The expenses of any corrective action or enforcement of this declaration, if not paid by offending homeowner within 30 days after written notice and billing, may be filed as a lien.”