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Everything You Need To Know About Your HOA

Posted by IKO Community Management on September 15, 2016 at 9:00 AM

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Homeowners associations aid the harmony of local neighborhoods tremendously, especially when the board works in conjunction with property management companies. To help you better understand the ins and outs of HOAs, here’s IKO Community Management’s guide: 

 

Who runs the homeowners association?

The HOA acts through its board of directors. These individuals, whether volunteered or elected, are assigned positions. These include the following:

President

The president of a homeowners association is given the powers similar to the chief executive officer of a business. Bylaw provisions can limit or extend a president’s duties, but it’s generally presumed that he or she will:

  • Preside over all meetings of the board and its membership
  • Execute contracts, orders, and other documents in the name of the association
  • Assume day-to-day responsibilities for and in the best interest of the association
  • Authorize specific actions in furtherance of the board’s policies
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the board

Vice President

The VP is given the powers that are required to perform the above-mentioned duties in the absence or inability of the president. Other responsibilities vary from board to board, but he or she will most often chair a committee with the community, such as the architectural review committee or neighborhood watch.

Secretary

The secretary is expected to:

  • Develop an agenda for each meeting
  • Keep and maintain a record of meeting minutes
  • Organize all board documents
  • Ensure records are accessible to all authorized members of the association
  • Effectively communicate with the board and neighborhood

Treasurer

The treasurer is responsible for handling funds, securities, and financial reports of the association. A property management company may take over the bookkeeping side of the “job,” which means the treasurer is expected to:

  • Oversee that the appropriate people handle and maintain financial records
  • Coordinate the development of the proposed annual budget using the best accounting practices
  • Prepare and recite the financial status at each meeting

What does the HOA board do?

A homeowners association’s duties vary for each community. Overall, the committee acts as a cornerstone, bringing harmony and pride to the neighborhood. It preserves the architectural integrity, maintains common areas, and budgets for recreational and necessary changes to the community while subsequently increasing property values.

Homeowners will most commonly recognize the committee's efforts through basic services like pool management, community events, trash or recycling pick-up, snow removal, towing, and more.

 

When do they meet?

According to The Highnell Companies, a community management company in Chico, Calif., there are 4 types of meetings:

Annual: These meetings are required by the governing documents, which specify when it will be conducted as well and how and when to notify residents, who are encouraged to attend. (Usually notifications go out no less than 10 but no more than 90 days in advance.) This meeting typically discusses the proposed budget, elections, individual committee reports, and items of common interest.

Board: Most associations hold board meetings monthly or quarterly based on the “parliamentary procedure, such as the Open Meeting Act.” These meetings discuss items of notice only like policy, property management progress, operations, and resident disputes.

Emergency: This meeting “is necessary when circumstances that could not have been reasonably anticipated and which require immediate attention or possible action by the board.” It’s called by the president or by more than 2 board members other than the president.

Executive: The board is required to give a two-day notice for these private meetings if not held in conjunction with a board meeting. Topics of discussion are limited to law, personnel, contracts, and delinquency, so residents aren’t permitted to attend.

 

Where does the board meet?

Most meetings are in a sort of community center because it’s a common area. If an emergency meeting is called, it can be held by phone or email “if all directors agree in writing.”

 

Why are HOA boards important?

Like we mentioned before, boards are responsible for keeping up the look of the community as well as maintaining resident happiness. In fact, “92 percent of residents “rate their community association experience as positive (70 percent) or neutral (22 percent),” according to the Community Associations Institute. Check out more fun facts about homeowners associations here.

For more information about which questions to ask your potential HOA board and what rules are the most common in communities, download our popular 10-page guide:

Guide to HOA Rules

Topics: HOA Board