There are so many benefits of living in an HOA community. But the biggest one, I guess, is that you can avail of everything the community offers - great amenities, for example - without having to lift a finger to maintain and upkeep it all.
That’s the HOA’s board of directors concern, isn’t it?
The problem? Well, for that to happen, the HOA needs people to step up and volunteer their time to serve on the homeowners’ association board of directors.
Unfortunately, many residents hesitate to join the HOA board. Often, that’s because they lack understanding of what’s involved in serving on the board.
If you’re considering joining your HOA and wonder what might be expected of you, this post is for you. That’s because below, you’ll learn more about the duties and responsibilities of various HOA board members.
But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
HOA Board: What It Is and a Typical HOA Board Structure
An HOA board is a group of people whose role is to run the association.
Typically, HOA boards comprise four core members - president, vice president, board secretary, and HOA treasurer.
On top of those four core members, an HOA structure might also include general members who help by serving on various committees. Finally, the HOA manager focuses on the association’s day-to-day operations and ensures that everything runs smoothly.
Each of the four core board members is responsible for different aspects of the HOA:
HOA president’s responsibilities focus on overseeing the functioning of the association and decision-making. Typically, the president would have the final say when deciding on various initiatives and projects. Any initiative that the board can’t decide on unanimously can be pushed forward or halted by the president.
But that also means that anyone serving as the HOA president must understand bylaws and regulations at an incredible level, if only to have all the insights required to make a well-informed decision.
Finally, because the president’s function is to ensure that the association functions at a full capacity, the person must also have an in-depth understanding of all the ins and outs of the association.
- Overseeing the association’s activities
- Decision making
- Presiding and running meetings
FACT: At first sight, the duties and responsibilities of a vice president might seem almost identical to what the president does in an HOA. The vice president will work closely with the president and often take over that role when the president isn’t present. It might happen when the president is away, on vacation, out sick, or cannot focus on their regular duties for any other reason.
Aside from acting on the president’s behalf, the vice-president might be responsible for various projects and oversee specific areas of the HOAs operations.
For that reason, their knowledge of bylaws, regulations, and the workings of an association must match those of the president.
- Acting on behalf of the president when the president is either away or unable to focus on their regular duties
The HOA secretary handles all the documentation within the association. This might include managing all the HOAs documents, communicating with other board members and the residents, updating records, submitting forms, and managing the legal paperwork.
The secretary would also notify the board and residents of upcoming meetings and record meeting minutes.
- Overseeing the HOA’s documents and records.
- Notifying about board meetings and recording the minutes.
The HOA treasurer handles the association’s money and financial matters. As part of their job, the treasurer will also conduct internal controls and monitor how the funds are being handled in the HOA. In addition, they will maintain financial records, conduct regular audits of the finances, create the HOA’s annual budget and deal with the association’s taxes.
The treasurer might also be responsible for overseeing the HOAs insurance to ensure that the association has adequate insurance types - casualty, fidelity, worker’s compensation, and other necessary protections.
- Overseeing the association’s financial matters
- Preparing annual budgets
- Managing financial records
- Dealing with the association’s taxes
Do HOA Board Members Get Paid for Their Work?
No, typically, they do not. Serving on a homeowners association’s board of directors is voluntary. It’s not a job, and as a result, there are no salaries associated with being a board member.
However, board members may be reimbursed for expenses accrued while performing their duties. Typically, a board member would submit receipts for any expenses to the treasurer to be reimbursed in this situation.
The situation is different when it comes to the HOA manager. Although not part of the board, the manager may be hired by the board to manage the community association. And in that case, they do get paid for their work.
What Does the HOA Board Do: The Responsibilities of HOA Boards
So far, we’ve talked about the duties and responsibilities of the four core HOA board members. But what do they do together? What are the responsibilities of the HOA board?
In general, HOA boards have four main responsibilities:
Maintaining common areas
In a typical HOA community, the responsibility to maintain and upkeep individual properties rests with residents. The HOA board might define covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) that each community member agrees to adhere to.
However, it’s the HOA’s board of directors that’s responsible for maintaining the common areas. This might include maintaining streets and pavements, contracting landscapers to mown the green areas, and so on.
Managing the financial business of the association
Although largely overseen by the treasurer, the whole board will participate in managing the HOAs financials. This might include setting up budgets, deciding how to allocate funds, collecting assessments, paying the association’s expenses, and record keeping.
Selecting and directing the HOA manager
This is, perhaps, the largest responsibility of HOA boards. You see, with some exceptions, the board takes a more strategic approach. The president and other board members make decisions and plan to maintain the community to the highest standard. But it’s the manager who focuses on the day-to-day part of the HOAs operations.
For one, it is the manager who inspects and enforces the association’s CC&Rs. In addition, they send violation notices, work with residents towards resolutions, and more.
But it is the board that selects the right person for the job and assists them in performing their duties.
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