The Essential Duties of an HOA Board: What Every Board Member Must Know

The Essential Duties of an HOA Board

If you love the look of a picturesque, well-maintained neighborhood, you probably understand the benefits of a homeowners association (HOA). These groups help enforce local property standards and keep homes and condos looking their best, so it’s no wonder why over a quarter of the U.S. population was living in an HOA community as of 2021.

For anyone hoping to help with this upkeep and serve their fellow homeowners, getting onto an HOA board may be the way to go. These groups hold a lot of sway over their local area, allowing them to create a vibrant neighborhood with strong community ties.

However, a role on these boards isn’t for the faint of heart! HOA leaders carry a lot of responsibility on their shoulders and must have the skills and expertise to do the job right. If you’re interested in one of these positions, read on to learn what you’ll be doing.

Duties of HOA Board Members

Let’s start with the duties of each leading member of a homeowners association. If you’ve taken on a prominent role, here’s what to expect based on your position.

President

The HOA president helps lead the decision-making process. While they don’t have the sole power to make decisions, they often have the final say in any major choices the board makes. These decisions should always be in the best interest of the association.

Due to the importance of this HOA role, the president should have several skills in their back pocket. This person must have in-depth knowledge of the association’s bylaws and regulations, management and communication skills,  administrative know-how, and public speaking skills.

Vice President

The vice president’s job is to support the president. This person will have many of the same HOA responsibilities as the president, and they may have to stand in for the president during certain meetings the president can’t attend or for certain duties they can’t carry out.

They also have to support the other HOA members in their roles. With smaller associations, they may also have to take on responsibilities that don’t fall under the umbrella of another role.

Secretary

The secretary is the administrative backbone of an HOA. These well-organized members will keep records, create meeting agendas, document information and meeting notes, give notice about meetings, and more. They should also act as the go-to resource for information about homeowners, property maintenance history, and similar details.

Treasurer

Proper money management is the key to success for any HOA treasurer. This person handles all transactions the HOA makes, from collecting dues to paying vendors to taking out loans. They will also prepare any necessary financial reports at the end of the fiscal year.

Good treasurers will have a strong financial background and extensive knowledge of the HOA’s bylaws and local financial laws.

Duties of the HOA Manager

The HOA manager, also called the community manager, is not a member of the HOA board. However, they have crucial responsibilities that keep an association running smoothly.

HOA managers work with the board to support property owners in the community. They act as a liaison between the board, the community members, and the association management company.

In their role, HOA managers will often oversee property inspections and ensure compliance with the HOA’s rules. This may mean issuing violation notices. They’ll also help settle disputes between two homeowners or between homeowners and the board.

In addition, these managers will oversee any projects with third-party contractors in the community and communicate with residents about them. Other tasks may include collecting association fees, keeping certain HOA records, and helping to maintain common areas.

Fiduciary Duties of the HOA

In addition to the duties above, the HOA also owes fiduciary duties to anyone who maintains their HOA membership. In a nutshell, this means that the board and manager should always try to make decisions that are in the best interests of the homeowners. There are three main duties:

1. The Duty of Care

Under the duty of care, board members should always try to make well-informed decisions. This means having an abundance of caution with major changes, researching possible solutions, and taking time to gather information.

As an example, the association can’t impose a fine for a homeowner’s rule violation right off the bat. Instead, they have to handle the violation according to the CC&Rs (Covenants, Convictions, & Restrictions) in the contract. This often involves making sure the homeowner is up to date on the latest rules.

2. The Duty of Loyalty

The duty of loyalty boils down to acting in good faith. Leaders are expected to act in the community’s best interests, not their personal interests.

If a board member has a conflict of interest, for example, they should step back from the decision-making process and let others take the reins. This might be the case when the board is deciding on a new vendor and one of the candidates is a board member’s relative.

Under the duty of loyalty, board members also have a duty of confidentiality. They should keep personal information a secret, including details about a homeowner’s living situation, family life, or financial stress.

3. The Duty to Act Within the Scope of Authority

As the title suggests, this duty requires the board to act only within the scope of their authority. They can’t make decisions that conflict with higher regulations, including local or state laws.

This is why it’s crucial for board members to know how far their authority extends. Attempting to enforce rules that conflict with municipal bylaws can land the entire association in hot water.

Consider These HOA Responsibilities

If you’d like to dive into an HOA board or manager position, be sure to familiarize yourself with the responsibilities above! HOA leaders may have considerable power over their community, but that power comes in return for carrying out crucial duties to that community. With a bit of effort and experience, you’ll come to better understand what you owe your neighbors as you take on your new position.

Did you find this article helpful? If so, check out our other posts for tips, guides, and advice like this.

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