You've tossed your hat into the ring to become an HOA board member for your association. The ballots have been counted and you've been selected. But, what are the responsibilities of a new board member to their community? You owe a duty of good faith and fidelity to the homeowners association. As a new board member, make yourself familiar with the governing documents of the association, the association’s reserve study, and the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (for California residents) to assist you in making educated decisions for your community.
Act in Good Faith
You become an HOA board member to better your association with no personal agenda. As long as you act in good faith for the best interest of your community, research your decision thoroughly and act as any reasonable person under the same circumstances, you're acting in good faith. Acting on behalf of the whole community and not limited members of the community will prevent playing into hidden agendas.
Review the Reserve Study
The health and safety of your community should be a priority. Each year review the association’s reserve study to determine what needs attention for the current year, and set up an ever-changing, five-year plan to keep the board members apprised of what needs attention, then nothing will slip through the proverbial cracks.
Fulfill Fiduciary Duty
Remember to keep all confidential board information well, confidential; disclose to the board any conflict of interest in a timely manner, approach all board issues with an open mind and be prepared to make the best decision for everyone involved. Finally, never exercise authority as an HOA board member - except when acting in a board meeting.
Each association should carry Director’s & Officer’s insurance, along with other appropriate insurance coverage, to protect its board members. All board members should rely on experts, even if you're an expert in the field you're researching.
Becoming an new HOA board member can be daunting, but if you keep in mind your fiduciary responsibility to each and every homeowner and know you were elected because they have confidence in your ability to handle the day-to-day operations of your association, the tasks become easier.