It’s always convenient to have some tools in your tool belt – you never know when you might need one. Instead of a hammer, nails, screwdriver and measuring tape, there are tools that are handy for an HOA board to have access to - because you never know when you might need to refer to them.
Do you want to be the best board member you can be? Then you’ve found a goldmine because we asked a seasoned and experienced HOA manager what he hoped all HOA board members would learn early on to help them run an efficient, lawful, and successful homeowners association.
If you’re a new Board Member for your homeowners association, or you’re considering whether or not to become one, it’s important to understand how an HOA is governed, and who the Board is accountable to. A well-governed HOA will not only know what entity has the governing authority over another, but will also listen to feedback from the residents in the association when it comes to how the association is being run.
The role of an HOA board can be summed up by three different words: to protect, maintain and enhance the Association. What does it mean to protect? It’s to keep someone from harm or injury. In a homeowners association it’s the board members' responsibility to protect the homeowners and community.
On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best, how well do HOA board members in your homeowners association communicate with members?
Take a moment to think about that, or even discuss it with your fellow board members. Be honest! If you’re like many other HOA boards, communication with members can be a challenge, especially without the help of a manager. So what can you do to get your messages read or heard?
Understanding the law is no easy endeavor, especially if you’re an HOA board member busy volunteering to help the Association function properly. If we’re really being honest, who has the desire or time to spend trying to learn and interpret the law, especially when it comes to important issues in your homeowners association?
That’s where a manager can help; but it's also important for board members to be educated and informed about the basics – important issues that often require knowing the law and why they should have resources available to consult.
As a volunteer member of the Board of Directors, you have the opportunity to help the homeowners in your community through issues that impact one of their biggest investments. Unfortunately, at times, owners forget that you are a volunteer of the Board and not a full-time employee. It’s very important to set boundaries with homeowners and fellow HOA board members on the appropriate time to discuss HOA related issues and do HOA related tasks.
You’ve been the treasurer of your homeowners association for 8 years, and have continually warned your fellow HOA board members that without saving for reserves they’ll be headed for real trouble - and now that day has come.
You’ve been elected as Board President and face two large special assessments back to back within the next two years. There’s no way around them. The pavilion, signs, tennis courts and other assets are all shabby, outdated and on the verge of becoming hazards. These projects must be done for safety reasons. Not to mention they make the Association look like an uninviting place to live.
Some associations have extra space for various amenities. Some have parks, tennis courts, or even lakes and water features. One amenity that’s a feature in some associations is playgrounds for children. There are many different types of playgrounds and play apparatus for associations to choose from. Whether your association has had a playground from the beginning or it’s considering the addition as a capital expenditure, there are certain things an HOA board should keep in mind.