The board of a homeowner association has various and sundry tasks. To understand what those tasks should be, it's critical that the board understand what the HOA "thing" really is. And often it's not what most think it is. Here are some of the myths.
Monthly fees should be kept low.
The board is elected to maintain the HOA assets properly. There is a big difference between being a good steward and a tightwad. Tightwads skip routine and necessary maintenance services which erode the value of the homes. It takes money to do it right and the board should spend the money necessary to accomplish the tasks.
Volunteer boards aren't held to the same standards as professional managers.
Volunteers they may be, but they are still charged with running HOA business in an informed and business-like manner. This means taking care of things in a timely manner, planning ahead to anticipate problems, getting and acting on good advice.
The HOA is small and so are the needs.
The smaller the HOA, the more important planning is since the cost per owner goes up the smaller the association is.
We're too small for professional management.
In areas like financial management and rules enforcement, all homeowner associations should have outside professionals. Collecting money from neighbors and controlling their antisocial behavior is bound to cause problems for a volunteer doing it. It's even worse when you live next to the offender. There are management professionals that do these tasks 24/7 and are paid for it.
The board is elected to be the manager.
The board is elected to hire and supervise competent service providers. When properly organized, the board's job should usually take only a few hours a month.
The board is entrusted with the most valuable asset most people own.
The responsibilities of an HOA board are not unlike those of any Fortune 500 company board. In both cases, there are physical and human assets entrusted to the board. Careful planning and effective communication to the stockholders (owners) is needed.
Is your board asleep to the true scope of the job? If so, heed this wake up call.
SOURCE: Richard Thompson
The Regenesis Report