Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” In order to effectively run a homeowners association, an HOA board, even if it has a manager, can’t do everything. It needs the help of members getting involved and forming committees. While the Board is ultimately responsible for the decisions in the Association, it can give authority and responsibility in some areas. The key is defining clear guidelines for the committees and getting people involved in areas that interest them.
Commonalities among committees
All committees have some commonalities. The Board should assign a chairperson to each committee. This person is given a scope of authority they can act on without having to come to the Board for approval each time a decision has to be made.
Members in the homeowners association should be involved in committees they have knowledge about or an interest in. For example, if you have kids, you may want to have a say on the new playground equipment being selected. Or if you have accounting experience, you may be a part of the budget committee.
In general, committees work with the service providers and do the necessary research and leg work before presenting to the Board.
Types of committees
Depending on the size and amenities of your homeowners association, there are standard committees that help the HOA board do its job more efficiently. Examples include the budget/finance committee, welcome/social committee, safety/insurance committee, landscape committee, and various project committees.
Role of a committee
Each committee has a specific function. For example:
The welcome/social committee could make a positive touchpoint with new members in the community by providing welcome baskets. It may also plan a quarterly member function, such as a game night or potluck.
The landscape committee oversees the outside visual elements in the Association. It may also help select a landscape vendor or do the necessary research to present options to the Board on issues, such as how to handle the water restrictions in California.
Various project committees are developed just for the length of time needed to complete a project. For example, the Board might appoint a committee of moms who are interested in doing the legwork to get some new playground equipment added to a common area.
The HOA board has many responsibilities. Appointing committees can help lessen the load as well as provide an opportunity for members to get involved. Overseeing the day-to-day functions of the homeowners association is a big job.
If you’re finding it’s becoming too much to handle, consider meeting with a trustworthy management company like The Hignell Companies to find out how a manager and your Board can work together.