Being an HOA board member is no easy task. There are meetings to attend, decisions to make, and duties to fulfill. With the extra demand on your time and resources that comes with being a member of the board, you and your fellow board members can probably take all the help you can get.
Whether your homeowners association is big or small, the members of your board can most definitely use the quick tips below. Print them out and stick them in your wallet, include them in the board packet at your next meeting, or email them out in your next board correspondence. You won’t regret it.
1. Understand the CC&RS – these dictate the restrictions of what can and cannot be done in the Association.
2. Actually read the Bylaws – they describe how the board works and outlines the responsibilities of each HOA board member’s position.
3. If you hold a director position, know the responsibilities of your position.
4. Open your board packet at least 24 hours prior to a board meeting to actually look at what the meeting’s agenda will be.
5. Ask any clarifying questions about the agenda items prior to the meeting – this will surely “wow” your HOA manager.
6. Show up to the HOA board meetings.
7. Understand the board meeting procedures.
8. Hint: board meeting procedures are outlined for California homeowners associations in the Davis-Stirling Act.
9. Never heard of the Davis-Stirling Act? Click here immediately!
10. Transfer functions when you can – for example, if you’re the secretary, find someone to take the meeting minutes so you don’t have to.
11. Know that you can transfer functions, but as an HOA board member you still have the responsibility.
12. Find trusted experts to look to for advice and services – such as accountants, attorneys, contractors, and vendors.
13. Know the difference between your operating and reserve budgets.
14. Clearly understand how to read your homeowners association’s financial statement.
15. Talk to homeowners living in the Association to find out positive and negative issues around the neighborhood.
16. Educate yourself and attend board trainings and social gatherings – it will be worth it and maybe even fun.
17. Consider hiring and HOA manager to work together with your board.
The most important duties of an HOA board member are to protect, enhance and maintain the Association. Stepping up to be a board member can be a rewarding, yet challenging experience. These tips are just the tip of the iceburg when it comes to successfully running a homeowners association, but they are only useful when they are put into practice.