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Subject: Policies and Procedures
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Author Messages
GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5241


09/05/2009 3:53 PM  
This came across my desk the other day and given some of the posts lately I wondered how many Associations actually took the time to sit down and write a policy and procedures manual? A tool so everyone knew in advance how to handle a situation instead of making it up as you go or relying on "Old Sam" who has been on the Board forever to remember how a Board in the past took care of it and more importantly published to the homeowners so they know that they will be dealt with fairly.

Policies Every Board Needs before They Are Needed

Collection Policy
Policy on Publishing Names of Delinquent Homeowners
Enforcement Policy and How to Appeal
Fine Policy and How to Appeal
Code of Conduct Policy for Board Members
Conflict of Interest Policy
Handling Board Member Conflicts
Conflict Resolution and Arbitration Policy
Policy on Reimbursing Board Member Expenses
Policy Regarding Nomination to Run for a Board Position
Election Policy
Policy on Committee Appointments
Policy on Adopting and Amending Policies and Rules
Meetings Policy - Board, Member and Special
Policy on Conducting Executive / Closed Session of Board Meeting
Policy on Use of Clubhouse and Other Amenities
Records Retention Policy
Records Examination Policy
Architectural Review Policy
Board Communications Policy with Management Company and Attorney
Board - Homeowner Communication Policy
Reserve Investment Policy
Reserve Expenditure Policy
Policy on Reserve Study and How Often to Update It
Policy on Receipt of Assessments, Disbursements and Check Handling
Audit Policy
Policy Regarding Advertising in Newsletter or on Website
Policy on Requesting, Reviewing and Awarding Bids
Insurance Guidelines Policy
Policy on Claim's Submission to Association Insurance Carriers
Policy Regulating Flags and Flagpoles
Policy Regulating Signs - Political, For Sale and Other
Policy on Landscaping and Maintenance
Policy on Fences
Parking Policy

For Associations with Employees
Application and Hiring Policy
Policy Regarding Discrimination
Policy Regarding Sexual Harassment
Policy Regarding EOE
Policy for Employee Discipline - Termination
Policy for Drug and Alcohol Testing
Policy Regarding Employment at Will
Policy Regarding Access to Employee's Personnel File
Policy Concerning "Whistle-blowing"
Employee Rules and Regulations
Employee Handbook

French historian and author of Democracy in America Alexis de Tocqueville famously observed, "In a community association, members get the boards they deserve."
MaryA1


Posts:0


09/05/2009 4:01 PM  
Glen,

Well, all I can say is, WOW! This reminds me of when I worked for the Fed Govt many, many years ago. There is a govt regulation on EVERYTHING. We used to joke that there must even be a govt reg on dying. So, all I can say, Glen, is that you forgot the "policy on dying".
RickW
(Illinois)

Posts:169


09/05/2009 7:57 PM  
Glenn,

I agree with Mary…WOW!! Let me say, I think this is a very important topic and one that should prove quite active as well as informational. Thanks for starting the discussion.

I’ve often looked at our Rules and Regulations, along with various guidelines we have in place. They both tend to be general and can be interpreted in a variety of ways. One might say we need to tighten our Rules and Regulations. I tend to think that if every board would have policies written down it would greatly enhance the board’s duties as well as association life. Rules and Regulations are not typically easy to change. Board policies, in written form, allow owners to follow the thinking and actions of a board. Policies can be more easily changed as the board and the homeowner’s association evolve over time.

It would be interesting to see a thread on each policy topic and watch how each person posting will be a part of forming policies for varying boards. Some policies wouldn’t apply to some associations and I bet if we gave it some thought, we could come up with a few more policies to formalize in writing. (i.e. dying as Mary suggests LOL)

I envision this policy manual being quite distinct, a few bullets to target under each item. The policy manual could be revised as time goes on, as the community changes. This could also provide better communication between the owners.

I have to wonder, are you in the process of preparing such a manual or are you thinking of doing so? It would be really interesting to develop one through this forum.
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


09/06/2009 12:42 PM  
Posted By RickW on 09/05/2009 7:57 PM
It would be interesting to see a thread on each policy topic and watch how each person posting will be a part of forming policies for varying boards. Some policies wouldn’t apply to some associations and I bet if we gave it some thought, we could come up with a few more policies to formalize in writing. (i.e. dying as Mary suggests LOL)


What a great idea.
GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5241


09/06/2009 10:11 PM  
Posted By MaryA1 on 09/05/2009 4:01 PM
Glen,

Well, all I can say is, WOW! This reminds me of when I worked for the Fed Govt many, many years ago. There is a govt regulation on EVERYTHING. We used to joke that there must even be a govt reg on dying. So, all I can say, Glen, is that you forgot the "policy on dying".



Ask and you shall receive (Except money)
Company Policy on Death While at Work

INTEROFFICE MEMORANDUM

To: All Personnel
From: The Management
Date: April 1, 1985
Subject: Standard Procedure on Death of an Employee

It has been brought to the attention of the management of this company that
many employees have been dying while on duty for no good reason. Furthermore,
it also appears that some employees are refusing to fall over after they have
died. This, in some cases, has resulted in unearned overtime payments which are
not provided for under our employee benefit program.

Effective immediately, this practice must be discontinued!

On and after today, any employee found sitting up after he/she has died will be
dropped from the payroll at once, without further investigation. This action is
covered by Company Regulation #20 (non-productive labor).

When it can be proven that the employee is being held up by a desk, typewriter,
drawing board, telephone, or any other means of support which is the property
of the company, a one (1) day period of grace will be granted.

In the event of apparent death, the following procedures will be strictly
adhered to:

1. If, after several hours, it is noted that any employee has not moved or
opened at least one eye, the department head will investigate. Because of
the highly sensitive nature and/or origin of some employees and because of
the close resemblance between death and their normal working attitude, the
investigation will be made quietly so as to avoid waking the employee if
he/she is asleep (which is, of course, permitted under present union
contracts).
2. If some doubt still exists as to the true condition of the employee, a
pay check will be used as the final test. If the employee fails to reach
for the check, it is reasonable to assume that death has occurred. Note
that in some cases the instinct is so strongly developed that a spastic
clutching may occur even after death; do not be misled by this
manifestation.
3. In the event that an employee fails to abandon whatever he/she is doing
at coffee break time, no investigation is necessary as this is conclusive
proof that rigor mortise has already set in.



French historian and author of Democracy in America Alexis de Tocqueville famously observed, "In a community association, members get the boards they deserve."
GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5241


09/06/2009 10:44 PM  
Rick it's almost as if you read my mind. One thing I left off was Holiday Decoration Policy and since the holidays are just around the corner, I thought I'd start off there. Here are two one from a HOA and one from a COA. IMHO the one from the HOA should include whether or not things like inflatable's (hideous IMO) and other freestanding yard art such as nativity scenes or Santa and sleigh etc. are allowed. Remember you can't write a rule or policy to get around a covenant such as nothing may be placed on common areas; you can only use them to clarify.

Holiday Decorations
All winter season holiday decorations, including lights, may be installed after November 15th and shall be removed by no later than January 15th of the following year. Decorations for other religious or secular holidays may be installed beginning two weeks prior to and must be removed one week following the holiday. All lights should be placed to have a minimal impact on your neighbors and the Board reserves the right to curtail or limit the hours of operation of any displays deemed to be affecting the quality of life in the community; sole discretion of this shall rest with the Board.

(Before the posts about over reaching HOA's about curtailing displays; the BOD affected added the clause after one display drew so much traffic into the neighborhood that H/O's were unable to get in and out of their own driveways.)

Holiday Decorations
The following are specifications for holiday decorations:

Mini-outdoor lights with roping may be hung on decks and wrought iron fence/gate. No nails may be used to hang any approved decorations. Wiring, plastic ties and string may be used.

No statuary of any kind may be displayed.

No trees may be decorated unless they are the trees immediately adjacent to the unit. Only mini-outdoor lights may be used. No wiring may cross concrete, such as sidewalks, pavements, driveways, etc.

Matching wreaths may be hung on garage fronts without obscuring address numbers. A single wreath may be hung on the side of the unit.

Exterior garage lights may not be used for any other purpose.

All decorations must be removed by January 12th of the following year.

French historian and author of Democracy in America Alexis de Tocqueville famously observed, "In a community association, members get the boards they deserve."
MaryA1


Posts:0


09/07/2009 8:36 AM  
Thx Glen!!! I especially liked #2 & 3 under "event of death".
I've printed this out for future reference.

Was this from a fed gov agency?
RickW
(Illinois)

Posts:169


09/07/2009 6:48 PM  
Glenn,

I would like to see a separate thread for each policy, but since you've already began with the Holiday Decoration Policy...

Here is what our Rules say:

"Seasonal decorations shall not be installed any earlier than one (1) month before and must be removed no later than one (1) month after the date of the holiday.

Seaonsal lights placed on shrubs and trees must not create a safety hazard. This includes, but is not limited to, cords across sidewalks, drives, or walkways. Lights may be attached to gutters using plastic gutter clips.

Any damaged caused by decorations shall be repaired ccording to the "Polices and Prcedures regarding Enforcement" section herein."

I can see that our policy is rather vague in that is does not cover all possibilities that might arise with holiday decorations. We say nothing of inflatables...I hate them, but also feel that if others like them, I should not be the determining factor.

Personally, I'd lean towards vague, however vague enough that we can still enforce the absurd from occurring. I assume, many policies get revised because of some occurrence within the community. There is a fine line between having the right policy in place without being too restrictive, and having the right policy in place that truly improves one's association. Hopefully, we can all work together to allow each of us to draft our own policy that reflects our own community.
GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5241


09/08/2009 12:18 PM  
Rick I did understand that you were suggesting tackling them in a new thread but I was afraid we would take over the front page and bury everybody else's posts. I contacted the site moderator and they thought it was a good idea to tackle each one but asked if we could only do a few at a time. I'm going to post three and see if there is any response.

French historian and author of Democracy in America Alexis de Tocqueville famously observed, "In a community association, members get the boards they deserve."
MichaelK11
(Texas)

Posts:432


09/09/2009 2:12 PM  
As far as I know, my HOA has no standing rules or policies. Our BoD makes decisions on a case-by-case, usually with some consistency, but that's accomplished by reference to our Declarations of CE&Rs (which are very outdated) and to precedent (other recent decisions, from memory).

Examples: Any wireless devices are forbidden, whether visible or not. (No Wi-Fi allowed.) HVAC equipment must be in back and not visible from the street -- every house I know of has it on the side, where it is unobtrusive but highly visible. Many other provisions like these are simply ignored. I think that's OK for the time being; but when current pressing issues are resolved, we need to see about amending and updating them so we can go beyond a tacit understanding of what makes sense and what does not. At least they are usually consistent, with notable and costly exceptions.

I think promulgating policies, rules and regulations may be a good thing for us. I have found these threads very informative and helpful.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:884


09/10/2009 11:41 AM  
Great list! During our board meeting last month, our president said that all of the board members need to do a complete reading of the CCRs so we'll be sure we're doing things right. I suggested publishing a plain English version of rules some years ago - everyone thought it was a good idead, but because of other problems (mostly dealing with delinquencies), the matter was shelved.

Now, I think we need to bring it up again and this time follow through. In looking at this list, I'm thinking a few of these may be better suited for a type of Policy Procedure and Protocol manual for board members that can be passed down to new ones so they know what's what
MichaelK11
(Texas)

Posts:432


09/17/2009 6:31 AM  
I was looking forward to seeing more of these fleshed out in threads.

Hope you're just taking a break.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Policies and Procedures



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