The day-to-day planning and financial stability of a Homeowners Association is generally attributed to the diligence and competence of its HOA Board. If you’re thinking about running, there are a number of things to take into consideration, such as the skills and qualifications, which will help you manage effectively.
Board members may possess numerous powers, depending upon their designated office, and they collectively will decide how to wisely spend the income of an association and protect it from unnecessary expenses. They will also decide who should be hired to perform tasks like property management, maintenance, reserve studies and legal services.
Some board members will also be accountable for setting the agendas and keeping accurate minutes on all of the meetings. Other such responsibilities include conducting fair elections that are in accordance with the state laws and CC&R’s and establishing rules and working alongside the HOA’s attorney to settle delinquent debts. Members of the board may also be involved with architectural improvement, application reviews and budgeting.
There are specific qualifications an HOA board member must possess to avoid making you and your association open to legal liabilities. A board member will normally be required to have a high school diploma or GED and, for some of the larger associations, a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for board member consideration. There are also a number of college and certificate type courses that specialize in HOA operations. Communication skills are also imperative since a board member will have to deal with other members, occupants, vendors and attorneys to discuss HOA issues that may arise.
Since you will be partly responsible for creating budgets, making payment to vendors, assessing fees and going over financial reports, basic accounting skills are imperative for the position. Even where a property manager is employed for these tasks, the board must be able to provide oversight to some degree. A background in management and business administration might be especially helpful for maintaining policies, updating incorporation articles and addressing issues in relation to property and tax assessments. A person with strong management skills can help the association form a tight bond and business structure. There are a number of programs designed to help board members with the current laws and regulations in regards to HOA management.
Before contemplating a run for the HOA board, you may want to take a couple of things into consideration. Depending on the size of your association, holding a board position could be very time consuming, so you first need to determine whether you can devote the hours to the tasks at hand. People who are impatient and lack people skills may not be the most suitable candidates for this position. Board members service the owners, and you may face difficult situations. This type of job takes good listening and team building skills. It’s also a thankless position with few rewards, other than being able to participate in shaping the environment in which you live.
If you have determination, and you are a motivated person with the right qualifications, being on the HOA board may be the right fit for you. It’s an excellent way to give back to your community by finding the best solutions and ideas that will bring the residents together.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/4446461866/
Interested in getting a Reserve Study for your community? Click here to get a proposal!