If you are a new homeowners association Board member there are a number of things you need to know about the position. This role means you will be making decisions for your Association. As an HOA board member you will be expected to act in the best interests of the Association.
What Are Your Duties?
There are some specific duties that you will be tasked with as an HOA board member. It is best to familiarize yourself with your new position and what it entails. Following are a few of the things you should know:
- Your primary role is to protect, preserve and enhance the value of your community.
- You have a fiduciary duty to the Association. Many of these roles are defined by Civil Code and Association Documents. You should always act in good faith.
- The HOA Board and its officers should be protected by Directors and Officers Insurance.
- Follow all Rules of Conduct, which should be a written document.
- You have no individual authority separate from the Board.
- Familiarize yourself with parliamentary procedure. Always use proper etiquette when dealing with Association members.
- Communicate with Association members. This may be one of your most important duties. Give members a chance to be heard. Keep everything as transparent as possible. Don't govern in secrecy unless doing so in an executive session. When new people move into the community make sure they receive a welcome package.
- As an HOA Board member you don't want to be overly aggressive in your position but you want to stand firm and be consistent against community violations and violators. You need to strike a good governing balance. Many issues will be caused because of lack of knowledge or a misunderstanding. Sometimes members will stand in defiance of the Board. Just stand firm and remember the rules and regulations you are tasked with upholding. Let those be your guide.
- Your HOA Board can always use expertise or just new people volunteering to help out and serve on the board, committees and other groups. Work to recruit people to help out and make the entire community a better place to live.
- Know your Association’s bylaws. You need to know exactly what the laws of the community are. Knowing these can save problems and issues from getting out of hand.
- You should also meet with the HOA Board's insurance agent and find out about insurance liability for Board members and the entire community, for such things as pools, ponds, playgrounds and clubhouses. Knowing you are covered is not good enough. Know what the coverage is.
- In addition to questions about liability get your insurance agent to review coverage on buildings and other property in the community that the Association has an interest in. Don't find out the bad news after the fact.
Becoming an HOA Board member should be a rewarding and fulfilling task. As a Board member you will be expected to be informed about many issues and items on the Association's agenda. Rules and regulations along with insurance coverages and more are part of your review now.
The items listed above are things you should know if you are a first time Board member, or even if you are a seasoned pro. Take your job seriously, know the rules, don't be overly aggressive in your governance and have a great time being an HOA Board member.