How would you define an effective HOA board meeting? Most people would see it as time spent efficiently, where issues are addressed, reasonable business decisions are made, and action items are assigned, in an atmosphere of respect and collaboration.
The most important thing you can do as a member of the board is to be prepared for these meetings. We talked about this in a previous blog post: 3 Important Tips for an Effective HOA Board Meeting. It’s also a good idea to have access to and be informed about some specific resources for HOA boards to help improve your meetings. Three of these are detailed below.
1. Implement a Memorandum of Understanding
This is a consensus of how the board operates that each board member is responsible for signing.
If a board member can’t operate in a respectful manner, the board can remove that person according to the MOU that has to be signed by all members to be in effect. The law says an HOA board doesn’t have the authority to remove someone as a board member, but can remove them from an officer position.
2. Pay attention to the laws
The Bylaws of the Association explain how the HOA operates, and this includes how often the board meets, usually monthly or quarterly, but it depends on the scope of responsibilities in the HOA. A meeting can always be called if needed. It’s also important to stay up-to-date on what Davis-Stirling (in California) and other laws in your state say about HOA board meetings.
3. Use the help of an HOA manager
One way an HOA manager helps the board is by doing the footwork for board meetings. This includes:
- Working in conjunction with the President to put an agenda together.
- Researching items on the agenda. For example, getting bids from contractors for a repair.
- Discussing disclosures and responsibilities.
- Keeping track of timely issues. For example, when it’s time to do the reserve study, time to plan the budget, etc.
- Helping new board members to be proactive. For example, introducing them to the reserve study specialist to see how the process works.
An HOA manager can also help by answering questions at any time of day, and can make decisions in emergencies. It’s what they do for a living. They take the burden off of the HOA board, help them be successful, and make the board member experience a pleasant one.
Remember, the most important part of an effective HOA board meeting is to be prepared. The best way to do that is to use the supportive resources you have available to you. Then take action.