35. This is so confusing – what are the differences between a policy a procedure and a resolution, let alone guidelines for HOAs?

  POLICY: A policy is a standard adopted by the Board that sets out the beliefs, values and objectives that causes the homeowner association to act. (such as a collection policy, an enforcement policy, or a conduct of meetings policy). A homeowner association’s policies communicate, organize, and focus the resources of the homeowner association.

  PROCEDURE: A procedure is the process that accomplishes a particular objective. For example, the homeowner association should have a clear and defined policy regarding assessment collection. The detailed steps of how this policy is achieved comprises the procedure of collecting assessments.

  RULE – REGULATION: A homeowner association’s board of directors adopts rules, regulations or guidelines to define desired behaviors and to set limits on allowable uses of the common elements and homes or units, architectural changes and the behavior of residents and guests. Some typical examples of rules include pets, parking, noise and use of HOA facilities.

  RESOLUTION: A resolution is a method of formalizing a decision made by a homeowner association’s board of directors. Resolutions are used to adopt policies, procedures, rules and regulations or to clarify ambiguous terms in the governing documents. Resolutions should include four components:

  1. Authority. The section of the governing documents that gives the board authority to adopt resolutions;
  2. Purpose. Why the resolution is needed or being adopted;
  3. Scope and Intent. Who will be affected, the reach, range and extent
  4. Specifications. A clear and complete statement on what those bound by the rule are expected to do.

SOURCE: – definitions by Richard Thompson, a nationally recognized expert on HOA management issues.