Whether you’ve been newly elected to your HOA board of directors or you’re a homeowner seeking information about how HOAs operate, we’ve provided a comprehensive breakdown of what a board is, how it works, who comprises it, and what members can and can’t do. We hope to provide you with a sharper understanding of the board, and how they achieve optimal function.
What is an HOA Board of Directors?
An HOA board of directors is composed of homeowners who were elected by the greater community to represent them. Just like members of congress, the board will decide on important issues on behalf of the community. They host board meetings that homeowners are free to attend, where they discuss important neighborhood issues, finances and more. The primary role of a director is to ensure that the HOA fulfills its core duties, which we’ll elaborate on below.
Depending on state HOA laws and your governing documents, your HOA may have a nominating committee, which screens people to determine if they are eligible to run for the board. You may also be able to nominate yourself or others depending on the bylaws. Whether conducted online or by paper ballot, it’s important that these elections are managed securely. Third HOA voting services are an excellent way to do that.
What HOA Boards Can and Can’t Do
The HOA board has four chief responsibilities:
- Making sure the community complies with all governing documents including HOA state laws and county laws.
- Enforcing the rules laid out by the CC&Rs when homeowners violate them.
- Maintaining communal areas and amenities such as a community pool or playground.
- Overseeing the budget, collecting homeowner dues and otherwise managing HOA finances.
There are limitations on their authority, with specific things that the HOA board of directors can and can’t do. Fiduciary responsibilities help define the limits of what the HOA cannot do.
While we’ve all heard horror stories about HOAs such as forcing people out of their homes or controlling what homeowners can do to their mailboxes, the reality is that the HOA board of directors is also held to a set of standards, known as fiduciary responsibilities. This means they must act on behalf of homeowners in a well-intentioned way by:
- Acting in good faith
- Acting with the best of the HOA as its priority
- Informing its members before acting
- Not acting outside of their authority
- Not acting negligently, or harmfully with intention
Who Sits on an HOA Board of Directors and What Do They Do?
Each officer serving on the HOA board of directors is responsible for managing a component of the HOA. The primary roles include:
The president is responsible for operating the majority of the HOA’s managerial obligations. They must know the community’s Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) and be able to field questions regarding matters related to the HOA. The president also must have the ability to effectively run the community including; conducting board meetings, creating announcements, rule-enforcement, and managing elections.
The vice-president shares many of the same responsibilities as the president and must be prepared to assume the role as president if the current person is no longer able to do so. The duty of the vice-president is to support the president, maintaining order during board meetings, and serving as an informed source about association rules for homeowners.
The treasurer is in charge of the HOA’s funds and financial records, which include:
- Overseeing bills
- Collecting and disbursing funds from HOA dues
- Budget management
- Reserving allocations
- Ensuring the association is compliant with the governing documents.
The role of treasurer is crucial for many reasons, but a large component is their responsibility to create and manage the annual budget. If, for example, the budget is projected too low there may not be enough to cover landscaping services or snow removal leaving the board with one option– create an assessment that requires homeowners to pay to cover the cost. That’s why electing someone capable and with financial experience is vital.
The HOA secretary is primarily in charge of documenting the meeting minutes and distributing and recording official papers (printed or digital) to attendees. This role collaborates with the rest of the board to carry out meeting announcements, agendas, and fulfills legal document requirements.
One of the most important responsibilities that every board member shares is communication. They need to ensure that homeowners are always aware of what’s going on in the community. Failing in this respect can undermine the success of the HOA.
The Importance of Transparency and Communication in HOAs
HOAs set the tone for the entire community. They can influence the happiness of homeowners from the second they purchase a new home. That’s why it’s critical for board members to proactively keep homeowners informed on what decisions they’ve made, and hear out homeowners’ thoughts in return. Such open communication builds trust and shows that they have homeowners’ best interest in mind.
Unfortunately, communication is an area where many HOAs fall short. Boards tend to rely on sparsely attended meetings and one-off emails to communicate important decisions and updates to the homeowners who will be affected by them. To remedy that problem, we built Page Per Page.
Page Per Page is a board of director’s one-stop platform for ensuring strong homeowner communication. We offer everything boards may need, in every possible medium, from print to digital and beyond. Our services include:
- HOA mailing services – We take the long hours out of mailing to massive communities. With Page Per Page, you can easily mail important notices, statements and other documents that homeowners need, knowing they’ll arrive on time, every time.
- HOA websites – Our proprietary HOA website platform allows you to create an online hub for your community in just a few clicks. Among countless features, you can create a payment portal to collect HOA dues, offer community forums to encourage discussion among homeowners and the board, and much more.
- HOA voting – With elections happening all the time in HOAs, it’s important to have a seamless HOA voting tool that allows homeowners to cast votes on the go. Page Per Page not only offers secure online voting, we also send out paper ballots to the same residents, if your CC&Rs require them.
An affordable answer to all of your HOA communication needs, Page Per Page is the ultimate partner to every HOA board of directors. Schedule a webinar below to learn more about how we can help your HOA today.