A successful homeowners association requires a strong board of directors. It’s important to have HOA board members who can fulfill their roles and responsibilities to the community. Here’s what homeowners should expect from their HOA board of directors.
HOA Board of Directors: An Overview of Their Roles and Responsibilities
An HOA board is comprised of homeowners who volunteer to assist in the day-to-day operations of their community. The association grants these board members authority so that they can fulfill their HOA responsibilities to homeowners.
Fiduciary Responsibility of HOA Board Members
Board members are placed in a position of trust and authority, which they need to effectively govern their HOA community. However, to prevent board members from abusing their power, the association imposes a fiduciary duty on the board. It is an essential component of the board member code of ethics.
As fiduciaries, board members have a legal duty to act in the best interests of their HOA. Their fiduciary duties can be broken down into three parts: duty of loyalty, duty of care, and duty to act within the scope of their authority.
- Duty of Loyalty: Those who hold board member positions must act fairly and in good faith to promote the well-being of the entire community. Board members must not make decisions that promote their personal interests or result in personal gain.
- Duty of Care: HOA board members must make informed decisions. They must have sound judgment and do the necessary research before making decisions on behalf of the community.
- Duty to Act: Board members must also act within the scope of their authority. They must follow the scope and limitations of their authority, which are outlined in the HOA’s governing documents.
These fiduciary duties of HOA board members ensure that they fulfill their roles and responsibilities.
A Complete List of HOA Board Member Responsibilities
Here is a list of the roles and responsibilities of the HOA board of directors.
1. Compliance with Governing Documents and Laws
Board members are tasked with ensuring that all homeowners comply with the governing documents at all times. This entails strict and uniform enforcement of HOA rules and regulations.
For instance, homeowners must follow the architectural standards of the association. Failure to do so will require appropriate action from the board — such as the imposition of violations and fines.
Board members also ensure that the HOA community abides by federal, state, and local laws. HOAs must comply with federal laws such as the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as other state and local laws that apply to HOAs.
By ensuring strict compliance with the governing documents and laws, HOA board members can maintain a high standard of living for homeowners. Compliance is also crucial in preserving the property values of the entire community.
2. HOA Budget and Assessments
The annual budget is one of the main responsibilities of the HOA board. To create the budget, the board must determine necessary expenses including operating costs, utilities, insurance payments, and reserve contributions. They then look at the estimated income from homeowner dues to check if it is enough to cover expenses. Apart from creating the budget, the board must ensure that the budget is maintained throughout the fiscal year.
Board members also have a responsibility to collect assessments. They must take reasonable action to ensure that all homeowners comply with their collection efforts. Otherwise, the board has the authority to impose fines, liens, or foreclosures on delinquent homeowners.
3. Maintenance of Common Areas
The HOA board of directors is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of common areas. Board members must create plans for meeting their maintenance responsibilities. Maintenance plans are essential so board members can keep track of assets and determine which ones need to be prioritized.
Board members perform routine inspections to ensure that shared assets are in good working condition and to avoid unnecessary breakdowns and extensive repairs. For instance, the board schedules monthly roof repairs to ensure that there are no leaks. This is cost-effective as emergency roof repairs can be very expensive.
They must also ensure that maintenance expenses are well within the limits of the annual HOA budget. If the HOA has a limited budget, the board determines priority maintenance tasks and ensures that deferred tasks do not put the community at risk.
4. Protect the Community
It is the HOA board of directors’ responsibility to protect the general well-being of the community. Along with uniform compliance and enforcement, board members must also ensure that there are no discriminatory practices or behaviors happening in their community.
They make sure that HOA rules are neutral and that homeowners are not judged based on their status, sex, race, or religion. It’s also important to provide individuals with disabilities with the accommodations they need to achieve a standard of living that is on par with other homeowners.
The HOA board must also promote procedures that will protect the community from crimes or injuries. For instance, if a certain house is posing as an immediate health or safety risk, the board has the authority to enter the premises and rectify the emergency situation.
Specific HOA Board Member Roles and Responsibilities
Apart from general roles and responsibilities, board members also have individual responsibilities based on the position that they hold. Here is a list of duties for the different HOA board of directors positions:
The HOA president serves as the leader of the board. He or she supervises other board members and oversees most of the board’s activities. An HOA president also presides over board meetings and establishes order and decorum; appoints committees and delegates tasks; represents the HOA in activities and events and serves as the authority on HOA rules and governing documents.
HOA Vice President
The HOA vice president assumes the roles and responsibilities of the president in his or her absence. This ensures a smooth flow of business even if the president is absent. As such, the vice president must have the same capabilities as the president. The vice president may also perform duties that are assigned to him or her by the board.
The HOA secretary performs a variety of clerical duties. They keep the minutes of board meetings and publish them in a timely manner, provide proper notice of meetings, keep official records and documents, maintain a master list of homeowners, distribute reports and documents during meetings or upon request, keep track of document deadlines and requirements, and certify documents that are submitted to third parties or authorities.
The HOA treasurer is tasked with maintaining the finances of the community.
This includes accounting and maintaining financial records; overseeing collections and monitoring delinquencies; receiving monies and checks; creating and maintaining the annual budget; creating financial reports for the board and homeowners. The treasurer may also receive assistance from an HOA management company or use HOA software to perform their duties.
HOA Board of Directors Qualifications
The requirements or qualifications for being a board member will depend on your governing documents. Though not all HOAs will require their board to have a degree or experience in community management, it’s important for aspiring board members who have the initiative to learn about managing an HOA. To fulfill HOA board member roles and responsibilities, it’s also important for aspiring members to know their governing documents by heart. Choosing a qualified board of directors can then prevent financial mistakes and other consequences that can impact the wellbeing of the community.
Serving Your Community as Part of the HOA Board of Directors
If you think that being part of the HOA board of directors is all about power and authority, think again. Becoming an HOA board member is not easy; you’ll be faced with what seems like a never-ending list of tasks and responsibilities. As a volunteer position, there’s no compensation for being a board member either.
However, if you have a passion for serving your community, joining the HOA board of directors may be one of the most fulfilling roles that you’ll ever have. So make sure to talk to your HOA about board member opportunities.
Does your HOA board of directors need help with community management? If so, feel free to reach out to the Condo Manager team today! Call us at (800) 626-1267, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us online to learn about our HOA software solutions.
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