The success of a homeowners association (HOA) community is heavily dependent upon the board members’ ability to handle their duties and responsibilities in a fair and adept manner. With 2.5 million individuals holding positions on community association boards, almost all of whom are volunteers appointed by a majority of the community, it is important for each homeowner in the community to be aware of the rules and responsibilities that the board members are obligated to uphold.
How are Board Members Elected?
All members of an HOA are given an equal opportunity to run for any position on the board by state law. This provision requires that all homeowners are properly notified about the time, date and location of upcoming elections, and ensures that the voting process remains anonymous. While every HOA board and organization holds their own rules and processes, it is customary for votes to be cast in one of three ways:
- Attending and casting a vote at the election meeting
- Mailing a vote in before the election meeting is held
- Voting by proxy, which means that you allow another member to vote on your behalf in your absence
It is important that your HOA elects responsible, strong leaders with the knowledge required to successfully fulfill their duties. To help you gain better insight, below is a list of the duties and responsibilities for each respective board member.
The president holds the most significant position on the board. As the leader of the HOA, the president is responsible for the oversight of procedural duties. The success of this oversight is contingent on the president’s knowledge of the community’s bylaws and covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs), as well as an understanding of how to effectively run a meeting structured by parliamentary procedure.
While leading community and association meetings, the president of the HOA will be responsible for the following:
- Making sure that the meeting meets a quorum
- Calling the meeting to order
- Announcing the agenda
- Ensuring adherence to the established rules
- Ensuring order is kept
- Proposing questions and leading conversation
- Calling for votes and announcing results
- Giving community members the chance to speak on the floor
Many HOA boards will operate based upon Robert’s Rules of Order. In the event that your board operates based upon Robert’s Rules, the president will need to possess the knowledge to have full command of these rules in a formal meeting setting.
In addition, it is important that the president of the HOA remain up to date on all state laws pertaining to the organization. The president is responsible for making sure that the association is acting in accordance with state laws to avoid any unnecessary fines or penalties, such as knowing the ins and outs of service animal laws.
Second-in-command to the president of the HOA board is the vice-president. If the president is unable to fulfill their normal duties and obligations, either temporarily or long-term, the vice-president will be called on to meet these responsibilities and take over the president’s leadership role.
Since the vice-president will possess a large leadership role, lead meetings, and will become interim president if the acting president can no longer meet their duties, it is vital that this individual also be well-versed in parliamentary procedure.
Aside from meeting the duties of the president in the event that they no longer can, the individual responsibilities of the vice-president are as follows:
- Ensuring order is maintained during the meetings
- Establishing a smooth flow of business
- Serving as an informed source about all HOA rules, bylaws, and governing documents of the community
HOA Board Treasurer
The treasurer of the board is in charge of handling and reporting the finances of the organization. They are responsible for association funds, securities, and keeping financial records. In addition, it is the duty of the treasurer to monitor the budget and provide a status report at every meeting, as well as formal reports after a prescribed period of time (i.e. quarterly, monthly, yearly, etc.) The treasurer will be required to do year-end reporting and must oblige to any required financial audits.
Other tasks that the treasurer is responsible for include:
- Overseeing billing for the organization
- Maintaining HOA collection fees and funds disbursements
- Coordinating the HOA’s proposed annual operating budget and reserve allocations
- Handling investments voted on and approved by a quorum of the HOA body
It is of the utmost importance that the treasurer ensures that all HOA funds are reported accurately and remain in compliance with the association’s bylaws and rules of government, at all times.
HOA Board Secretary
The HOA board secretary’s main duty is to keep records of the organization up-to-date, properly stored, and available to all members of the organization. The secretary must be in regular attendance at required meetings and events and will be responsible for documenting and reporting meeting minutes and agendas.
Other duties of an HOA board secretary include:
- Providing proper notice of meetings
- Keeping and distributing official records
- Ensuring the HOA meets all legal documentation requirements
- Making sure that the HOA meets all filing deadlines
Other Duties of an HOA Board Member
While HOA board members have a set of duties and obligations prescribed by the governing documents of the organization, as leaders of the organization there are often additional duties that the HOA board members take on, such as:
- Organizational planning and development
- Assessing and developing skills of potential future board members
- Serving on committees
- Assisting homeowners and answering any questions they may have
- Educating themselves on HOA matters
A responsible HOA board member will be present as a resource for all members of the community, will do their best to mitigate conflict, and won’t use their political power for their own personal gain.
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