Everything You Need to Know As An HOA Board Member But May Be Afraid To Ask

Homeowners Associations (HOAs) are prevalent across communities, and they wield significant influence over residents’ lives. HOAs create rules and guidelines to preserve property values and protect a community’s quality of life. 

Serving on the HOA boards we represent isn’t always easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding when done right. Remember, knowledge is power. Understanding your responsibilities and the ins-and-outs of these governing bodies is crucial for effective leadership.

HOA Board Membership 101

Before becoming an HOA board member, it’s crucial to grasp the core concepts:

HOA Board Member Roles and Responsibilities

HOA board members oversee a wide range of functions, including:

  • Enforcing the HOA’s governing documents (CC&Rs, bylaws)
  • Maintaining common areas and amenities
  • Creating and managing the budget
  • Collecting assessments
  • Selecting and overseeing vendors
  • Communicating with homeowners
  • Resolving disputes

HOA Board Member Qualifications

Specific eligibility requirements, such as being a homeowner in good standing, are detailed in your HOA’s governing documents.

HOA Board Time Commitment

Board membership is a volunteer position, though it can be surprisingly time-intensive. Meetings, emails, and handling resident issues should all be factored into your expectations.

Legal Exposure For HOA Board Members

HOA board members can be held personally liable for certain decisions or actions taken on behalf of the association. Familiarity with your state’s HOA laws and obtaining adequate insurance coverage is important.

HOA Board Member Election Process

Most HOAs have annual elections where homeowners elect the board members. Elections are governed by the HOA’s bylaws and CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions). These documents dictate how voting occurs, who is eligible for board service and term lengths.

HOA Board Meeting Basics

HOA board meetings typically adhere to a set structure. Agendas are prepared in advance, covering discussion points, financial reports, and resident concerns. Robert’s Rules of Order may be followed to maintain meeting decorum and ensure proper voting procedures. Minutes are essential documents that record meeting discussions and decisions for official records.

Navigating HOA Board Member Fiduciary Responsibility

As an HOA board member, you have a fiduciary duty to the association. This means prioritizing the well-being of the entire community over personal interests or biases. Always keep these tenets in mind:

  • Good faith: Make decisions based on an honest belief that they are in the community’s best interest.
  • Diligence: Research and investigate issues thoroughly before reaching conclusions.
  • Loyalty: Avoid conflicts of interest and don’t prioritize personal gain over the HOA’s.

Removal Process For HOA Board Members 

HOA board members can be removed for several reasons, some common ones include:

  • Violating CC&Rs or bylaws: Failure to abide by the rules that guide the HOA is grounds for removal.
  • Financial mismanagement: Mishandling funds or making negligent financial decisions can lead to dismissal.
  • Breach of fiduciary duty: Putting personal needs before the community’s.
  • Lack of attendance: Skipping meetings or chronic neglect of duties can justify removal.

Handling Common HOA Board Dilemmas

Difficult Residents

Address disrespectful behavior by following procedures in your governing documents. Maintain objectivity, offer clear explanations for decisions, and seek professional mediation if necessary.

HOA Rule Enforcement

Enforce rules consistently and fairly while allowing for communication and explanations. If you find rules too strict or outdated, work to update them transparently.

HOA Vendor Management

Choose vendors through a competitive bidding process with a focus on qualifications, experience, and price. Avoid choosing companies where you have personal connections.

Goodwin and Company | Your HOA Experts

HOA board membership offers the chance to have a lasting positive impact on your community. Treat the position with care, abide by the governing documents, and place the community’s well-being above all else. Remember: transparency, open communication, and a commitment to collaboration will enable you to serve as a valued leader.

Do you have questions about your homeowner’s association or seek HOA board member training and counsel? Goodwin and Company’s HOA management company offers expert guidance and HOA solutions. Contact us today for a consultation on your property management in Texas and Colorado!