HOA Board Member Duties And Responsibilities
Serving on a community association board is both an honor and a challenge. It is an honor in that your community members trust you to protect the value of their investment. It is a challenge in that you have to run this complex business in addition to everything else you have going on in your life. Community associations are actually classified as nonprofit businesses, and as a board member you have a fiduciary responsibility to these businesses. This means you can face financial penalties if you make negligent decisions regarding for the association. The basic responsibilities of an association board are to maintain the condition and appearance of all of the common elements in a community. This includes pools, docks, tennis courts, landscaping, clubhouses and many other things. This responsibility varies greatly from community to community, and so does the workload for board members. Many communities have decided it is too much work for a board of volunteers, and they decided to hire and association management company. These companies take the workload off of the board members, and put them in more of a supervisory role. Most association boards have four main positions, with some variations.
President is the highest position on an association board. The position of president in an association is similar to the position of CEO in a company. Specific by-laws vary the duties of a president from association to association. In most cases, the president is in charge of running all board meetings and membership meetings. They are also the representative of the community when dealing with contractors, and their signature can bind the community in contract through inherent powers. The president is also responsible for running the day-to-day operations of the association, and can make decisions based on the best interest of the community.
The presidents role is greatly changed if the association has a hired management firm. The firm will take over the president’s day-to-day responsibilities, as well as dealing with any contractors the community requires. The president will act more as a decision maker, letting the management company handle all of the actual work. This allows the president to focus on important decisions, and lets the professional management company take care of all the little details.
The vice-president has basically the same responsibilities that any vice-president has. They take over the responsibilities of the president in the situation that they are absent. The vice-president may also have various other tasks based upon the community and what the board decides. Oftentimes, the vice-president will chair a committee for the community. Most community associations have an architectural review board, which is one of the biggest responsibilities of the board. The vice-presidents job does not change significantly with the use of a management firm, other than they may take over some of his various other tasks.
The secretary of a community association has more than just a clerical position. They are often in charge of all of the community’s records and makes sure they are available to members at all times. The secretary is also in charge of making sure the minutes are taken for every meeting, and that they are accurately stored. In many cases, the secretary is also in charge newsletters and other general communication throughout the community.
The secretary’s duties are slightly reduced when a management company is used. They may still be in charge of taking the minutes, but the management firm will store all of the community files. The firm will also take care of many of the clerical duties that go along with the secretary position.
The treasurer handles all of the financial aspect of the association. They handle all of the community’s funds, securities, and financial records. In some communities, this is close to a full-time job considering that these associations are nonprofit businesses. The treasurer handles the funds of the association on a daily basis and is responsible for annual budgets and financial reports. These reports are very technical and need to be up to state specifications.
The treasurer is the position that benefits the greatest from the employment of a HOA management company. The management company will have accountants on staff that will do all the work of a treasurer for them. The treasurer will have to only go through and check some of the firms work to make sure it is correct. The management firm will also collect all of the fees, so the treasurer won’t have to deal with the daily flow of funds.
Community association boards are absolutely mandatory for the associations to prosper. Associations are also dependent upon volunteers to run these boards. Running these boards can be a very time-consuming task, and most of the time it is done with very little appreciation. Having a management company can ease the workload on these board members, and it will add efficiency. If you have any more questions about associations or association management companies feel free to contact Melrose-Sovereign at (800) 647- 0055.