Does your HOA board dread the annual meeting because it’s boring, no one shows up, and it seems completely and utterly pointless? If so, your Board is not alone. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, the annual meeting in your homeowners association can actually be – dare we suggest – fun?!
Have you lost your copy of the Association bylaws? Would you like to read minutes from past board meetings? Would you like to read a resolution for background information on a homeowners association policy?
It’s a Wednesday evening in spring. As you walk the few blocks from your home to your monthly HOA board meeting you find yourself smiling at what you see. The sun is setting, giving just enough light for residents to finish walking their dogs. You hear the giggles of kids playing catch in their front yard. The smell of freshly cut grass, coupled with someone barbecuing, is in the air. Amidst the mundane details of budgets, laws, rules, and maintenance waiting for you at your meeting, you're reminded that you are an HOA board member because you value your community. You care about the quality of life in your neighborhood, and making it a safe place for residents.
Governing a homeowners association is no easy task. There are budgets to make, reserve studies to do, laws to understand, meetings to prepare for, and day-to-day tasks to tackle. Below are some helpful resources every HOA board member should know are available to reference.
The homeowners association is a home and community. When you chose to be a member, you agreed to some unique obligations to the community and to other residents within it.
Have you ever been to a Board meeting that was equivalent to going to the circus? You know the type. Everyone clowning around, trying to out-perform the other to get their point noticed. Pencils and papers flying through the air as if they were popcorn and peanuts. The tension in the air when an important issue is being discussed feels thicker than watching a tightrope walker. Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite that bad, but you get the idea. The kind of meeting you leave feeling like you put out more fires caused by the jugglers flaming batons than made onlookers smile and leave happy.
From time to time it’s a good idea for the HOA board to evaluate the homeowners association by giving it a check-up so to speak. Consider using the performance measures below to be filled out among board members. Take it a step further and send it out to the membership, requesting their anonymous participation. It may give your Board some great insight!
Whether you have a majority of first-time homeowners or long-time residents in your homeowners association, everyone has a hefty investment in where they live. It’s important that the HOA board has a program in place to preserve the value of residences, as well as the surrounding common areas shared by all.
It’s the responsibility of the HOA board to protect the homeowner’s association community. When it comes to keeping the community safe, a Board is responsible for safety issues, general well-being of the members of the Association, and prevention.
Whether your homeowners association operates on the calendar year or fiscal year, now is a good time to set a date for your annual HOA board meeting if you haven’t already done so. Annual meetings are a common best practice to keep members informed and get them involved. You may be thinking that it’s going to be a waste of time because the majority of members don’t come to any meetings. There’s no doubt that this is one of the most challenging parts of planning the meeting, but there are ways to encourage members to attend.