You don’t want to be that guy (or gal) do you? You know the one – unreliable, uninformed, and unmotivated. It seems like every Association or organization has this type of person that everyone just puts up with or secretly doesn’t like at all. Do yourself a favor: look at the following list and be honest with yourself. If you do any of these things, maybe it’s time to change or step down. If you can think of a fellow HOA board member who does this, maybe you could help them!
You don’t understand basic HOA principles
It’s often misconstrued that the only job of the Board is to maintain the outside dwellings and common areas of the Association. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Each HOA is set up a little bit different – you can find what you need to know about yours in your governing documents – but there are certain responsibilities delegated to the homeowner’s association and specific responsibilities of the homeowner. You must know how an Association functions in order to be part of the governing board.
You don’t read the documents
The CC&Rs, Bylaws and Rules & Regulations are important to read and at least understand what they say on a basic level. It’s actually one of the most important tasks you have as a board member to help you make reasonable business decisions and be certain your Association is operating within the proper parameters of the law.
You don’t go to meetings
If you aren’t attending HOA board meetings, then you probably aren’t voting either. You were selected as a member of the board to represent the best interests of the Association. Attending the meetings is crucial to understanding how the HOA is functioning, being part of the decision making process when issues arise, and simply having a voice. If you feel like the meetings are a waste of time, then you may need to reevaluate how you’re spending your time and commit to the meetings until your term is up. The board as a whole may also need to put some best practices in place at the meetings.
You don’t read the newsletter
The Association newsletter is a positive touch point the Board can make with homeowners. If you aren’t contributing to the newsletter that’s okay, but you should at least be reading it to stay informed and be prepared if a homeowner asks you a question about something the newsletter discussed.
You don’t attend events
Social and training events are another positive touch point you can make with homeowners and fellow HOA board members. Something as simple as a community barbecue, potluck or pool party can make homeowners feel cared about and start to build trusting relationships. Attending trainings and educational events are good ways to network with other board members and professionals, learn about new laws that may affect your HOA, and other resources available to you.
You don’t follow the rules
As a board member, it’s your duty to set a good example for the members of the homeowner’s association. If you aren’t following the rules in the Association, how can you expect anyone else to? Whether you aren’t removing your trash can from the curb within 24 hours of garbage pickup or refusing to cut a limb of a tree dropping fruit in your neighbor’s yard, it makes it difficult for the Board to enforce rules when one of its members isn’t following them.
You have delinquent HOA dues
Again, if you aren’t paying your monthly HOA fees, how can you expect members to? Not to mention, it’s something you agreed to do when you moved into the Association.
You just don’t care
If you’re simply indifferent about being an HOA board member and the responsibilities that come with it, then it’s time for you to step down and let someone who is willing to be actively involved take your place.
Being a member of the board in a homeowner’s association isn’t easy. There are many responsibilities that come with it that can be summarized as protecting, maintaining, and enhancing the Association. Whether you’re a current board member or thinking of becoming one, it’s important to understand what you're committing to and be willing to do your part in order for it to be a rewarding experience.
If you feel like your HOA board has apathetic members and needs help getting on track, consider hiring an HOA manager to help.