You have tossed your hat into the ring to become an HOA board Member for your Association. After all the ballots are counted, you are now a new board member. What are the responsibilities of a new board member to their community? You owe a duty of good faith and fidelity to the homeowners association. Make yourself familiar with the governing documents of the Association, the Association’s Reserve Study, if applicable, and the Community Association Status Book (Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act) to assist you in making educated decisions for your community.
Before becoming a Portfolio Manager for The Hignell Companies I served for three years as a Director for a large association with a budget greater than $2 million. I have walked a mile in your shoes.
Act in Good Faith
You become an HOA board member to better your Association with no personal agenda. As long as you act in good faith for the best interest of your community, research your decision thoroughly and act as any reasonable person under the same circumstances, you are acting in good faith.
Review the Reserve Study
Acting on behalf of the whole community and not limited members of the community will prevent playing into hidden agendas. The health and safety of your community should be a priority. Each year review the Association’s Reserve Study to determine what needs attention for the current year, and set up an ever changing, five-year plan to keep the board members apprised of what needs attention, then nothing will slip through the proverbial crack.
Fulfill Fiduciary Duty
Remember to keep all confidential Board information, disclose to the Board any conflict of interest in a timely manner, approach all Board issues with an open mind and be prepared to make the best decision for everyone involved. Finally, never exercise authority as an HOA board member except when acting in a board meeting.
Each Association should carry Director’s & Officer’s insurance, along with other appropriate insurance coverage, to protect its board members. All board members should rely on experts, even if you are an expert in the field you are researching.
Becoming an HOA board Member can be daunting, but if you keep in mind your fiduciary responsibility to each and every homeowner and know they had confidence in your ability to handle the day to day operation of your Association, the tasks become easier.