Every now and then, disagreements flare up between residents of a community, and the HOA board that serves that community. Often, these moments of tension come down to a simple miscommunication about exactly what the HOA board does, and does not, do. Perhaps a resident feels as though the HOA is overstepping its bounds; perhaps the resident feels like the board is not doing enough. In either case, these tensions can usually be averted through some basic communication.
Indeed, it behooves the HOA board to occasionally remind residents of exactly what its purpose is; for that matter, board members themselves can benefit form these regular memory joggers! The role of the HOA board may vary from one community to the next, but the basics are as follows:
- First, the HOA board is tasked with enforcement of the rules. That does not mean that the HOA board members act as tyrants or as bullies; it simply means they preserve order, particularly with regard to the maintenance and upkeep of common areas. The HOA board is therefore tasked with sending out notifications of new rules and regulations; with understanding that some new rules may require a vote from homeowners, and that no new rule can violate existing CC&Rs; and with sending notices to homeowners in violation of the rules. In very rare cases, the board must take legal action against violators.
- Second the HOA board is tasked with creating and maintaining a list of all of the decisions made during community meetings—typically in the form of “minutes.”
- The HOA board is tasked with the execution of contracts. This means obtaining the necessary HOA insurance, but it also means executing the legally-binding contracts that lay out the relationship between the board and any third-party vendors or contractors.
- Finally, the HOA board is in charge of financial management. It is the job of the board members to ensure that the community’s funds are being used wisely and prudently. This includes collecting assessments, conducting period reserve studies, and preparing the proper financial reports.
The work done by the HOA board is complex and multi-faceted, then—and only by fully understanding it can all the members of the community unite behind the work of the association!