Finding members in your homeowners association who want to volunteer on the HOA board can be hard – finding a member to step up and become the board president is even harder. So, what do you do when the current president passes away, you don’t have a lot people in your community involved with the board, and your current board members are concerned that hiring an HOA manager will only cause the company to take over the Association?
What do we do when a Board president passes away?
The first step is to consult your CC&Rs. But, theoretically, the vice president will take over. The board could elect a new president or simply appoint someone to be president, since the offices of the HOA board are not elected by membership – they are elected by the current members of the board. It’s important to keep in mind that you still need a quorum – at least a 3-person board – to vote on important decisions.
When something major happens in your Association, such as the Board president passing away, it can be the catalyst for change. This is a time when the community will need to step up and get involved – of course, that’s easier said than done! It’s a good time to re-evaluate how the Association is run, and to even consider hiring a property manager.
Will a property management company take over my community?
A major change such as the passing of a Board president can also bring about fear and uncertainty in the community. If you have HOA board members who need convincing because they’re worried a property management company will take over and micromanage the community, then they may have previously had a bad experience with an HOA manager.
The reality is that change is inevitable, but how it’s handled makes all the difference. In this case, a better option may be to suggest having a management company do a free evaluation. This will show the Board what needs to be done around the Association, areas of improvement, and where the homeowners association may not be compliant. The evaluation will look for things such as:
- How do you handle the financials?
- Do you have a reserve study?
- How much do you have in reserves?
- When was your last board election?
- Do you have insurance?
- Are the CC&Rs up to date?
- Do you have a collection police?
- Have you communicated everything the Davis-Stirling Act requires each year? (Annual disclosures)
- Have you filed a tax return?
- What kind of maintenance do you do?
Once the evaluation is done, the Board can decide if it still wants to manage the community on its own – or it may come to the realization that there are so many pieces and parts involved, especially to stay compliant and not break the law – that it doesn’t have the capacity and does in fact need help.
The bottom line is, the job of the HOA board is to protect, maintain and enhance the Association, and to make reasonable business decisions. A property manager can help offer guidance to board members and lighten the load board members end up carrying when governing a community.