Structure is crucial to the effectiveness of any homeowners’ association. There are certain instances where the actions and working relationship between Management, Board members and the association members themselves become clouded, and the end result is often dissatisfaction and wasted time. To bring the team back together, a refresher course in duties and obligations is in order.
Homeowners Association Committees
In order for all parties to run smoothly, the homeowners should be divided into various committees. The number of committees will depend on the size of the association, and the Board and Management companies can either appoint or delegate these committees to handle the specific responsibilities. The Board expects the Homeowners Association Committees to assist them in gathering important information. This may include researching issues; assistance in maintaining certain levels of standards; financial obligations and management coordination. It is the committee’s job to periodically assess the task list to ensure that they are working in tandem with the Board’s objectives.
Property Manager’s Role
The role of Property Management is to assist and facilitate the work of the set committees; receive committee reports; coordinate issues and recommendations with the Board; advise these other parties of Bylaw requirements; act as facilitator to make sure the Board and the Committees are abiding by the documents of the community. Management also has a duty to make sure the primary vision and path of the Board is being followed. If any of the paths stray, it is their obligation to make recommendations to the Board and the Committees.
It’s also understood that no Committee member, volunteer group, or individual Board member will ask Management to perform duties or services that stem from personal agenda. All parties must abide by this practice to protect the association from any liability. The homeowner’s association Committees and Management are teams that support the Board.
The Board and Their Duties
The Board makes all the official decisions, and they carry out any recommendations generated by the Committees. Management provides the documentation that goes along with the Committee’s recommendations. It is the responsibility of the Committee’s and Management to provide the Board with factual documentation.
All parties must work in balance to ensure that their recommendations are supported both financially and operationally. This includes abiding by any short and long-term expenses, and maintenance within the community. Once the Board has decided upon an action, none of the other parties can nullify the decisions, unless they can show illegality.
The Committees are responsible for presenting the facts and stating their support or non-agreement with any issues, and providing the reasoning behind their decisions. The Board makes its final approval based upon the facts. When all entities are aware of their obligations, duties and borders of authority, they can more easily work in harmony – effectively implementing the mission statements and primary vision of a successful community for all of its members.
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