There are several individuals that bring value to your homeowners association. Your volunteer HOA board, your manager, your interested members that may serve in other capacities, and your supportive and assessment-paying membership. Vendors also can bring great value to your association in many ways, such as the attorney for your association.
Your HOA is being sued, what do you do? You know that being faced with a lawsuit is a serious matter and absolutely should not be ignored. That being said, there are some important actions you need to take as an HOA board member to avoid setting the homeowners association up for failure and getting yourself in a mess you can’t clean up.
Your homeowners association may have a strict pet policy. Maybe it’s “no pets under any circumstance” or “no dogs over 50 pounds” or bans certain breeds of dogs or limits the total number of pets allowed in each unit. How does your HOA board navigate the situation when an owner requests to have a service dog or some other type of animal?
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 homeowners association board member, you have many responsibilities to the community you oversee . Homeowners look to their board to keep their community safe, well-maintained and properly managed. Board members are obligated to do everything in their power to meet its members needs while complying with the community’s CC&Rs, as well as any state and local regulations.
Unfortunately, there are instances where your HOA board may unknowingly be putting the community at risk. Hiring an HOA manager can take the pressure off of your board members. Let’s take a closer look at the pitfalls that can exist and how you can avoid them.
A homeowners association and its members disagree from time to time. When there's a dispute, the HOA board must provide the homeowner an opportunity to meet and confer with the board. Members must be provided with a fair, reasonable and expeditious procedure for resolving disputes with the Association without being charged a fee. The process is referred to as "Internal Dispute Resolution" (IDR).
Groups that are run by volunteers that handle money are particularly vulnerable to fraud, embezzlement, illegal activities, and scams. HOA boards are no exception. Access to funds is a temptation that some cannot resist.
Dishonest board members can exploit the fact that most volunteers don’t know the details on how to financially manage the HOA’s funds. They also know other board members are busy with family life, jobs and hobbies and may not have the time to scrutinize every transaction. Board members with a bit of financial savvy can “cook the books” to embezzle money or collude with outsiders to collect kickbacks.
Americans are starting to gear up for voting date and showing support for their preferred 2016 presidential candidate by volunteering at campaign locations, watching the latest debates, and posting political signs on their property. This raises the issue of whether or not a homeowners association can restrict residents from posting political signs. Learn more in the article excerpt below and what the law in California says.
In homeowner’s associations, you and every board member are considered a fiduciary and are duty bound to act in the best interests of all residents, not your own best interests.
A good number of Board members understand that being a leader within their homeowners association can be a very rewarding yet sometimes thankless job. If they have been on the Board for any length of time, they also know that change is inevitable. Rules and regulations governing homeowners associations are consistently being reviewed and evaluated, and keeping up on the changes is just one responsibility of the Association board.