When it comes to step-by-step instructions on how to run for your homeowners association board during an election year, consult your community bylaws, rules, and Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs). If you’re still thinking about taking a seat, here’s what you need to know to prepare for the election:
Be an outstanding resident of the community. To increase your chances of being elected to the HOA board, you have to be more than a good homeowner. Follow these guidelines, as outlined by Vote HOA Now, an electronic voting service, and Kuester Management Group, an HOA management company in North and South Carolina:
- Regularly attend HOA board meetings to become informed and visible. Establish a positive reputation for being a concerned and reasonable resident, and provide constructive feedback as necessary.
- Ask questions during open meeting sessions, and make appropriate comments and suggestions.
- Read the Davis-Stirling Act to provide you with the legal knowledge that you need as a board member.
- Read your homeowners association’s governing documents, which include bylaws, rules, and CC&Rs. Understand how decisions are made, what issues have been voted on in the past, proper policies and procedures for handling different situations, and what your responsibilities would be as a board member.
- Check the homeowners association website for past minutes and newsletters, or inquire about how to get copies.
- If applicable, read your homeowners association’s contract with its property management company to become fully informed about the rights and duties of both parties.
- Meet your neighbors at every opportunity, and let them know about your interest in running for the board to develop a familiar face around the community.
- Pay your assessments on time, and obey all HOA rules.
- Use the association’s nomination form and any candidates’ forum as a way to convey your desire to serve, objectivity, sincerity, and overall relevant knowledge.
- Consider any possible HOA election issues to discuss, including failure to collect delinquent assessments or provide an accurate budget, the condition of common areas, the property management company’s performance, and lack of reserve studies in accordance with the law.
Understand the obligations of an HOA board member, and decide if you’re capable of handling them with everyday life. The responsibilities of this leadership team are dependent upon the bylaws, rules, and CC&Rs of the individual community. State and local laws also have a say in how powerful an HOA board is.
Typically, board members are accountable for the following basics:
- Operate, repair, replace, and maintain the development’s common areas
- Adopt and enforce HOA rules and regulations
- Hire personnel or a community management company to help carry out responsibilities
- Produce an accurate annual budget
- Collect dues and assessments from residents
- Levy special assessments for items outside the budget
Narrow down your pitch. Like a job offer, running for an elected seat on the HOA board requires a sort of unofficial resume and portfolio. Think about what makes you a great candidate for this position. Why would people vote for you? What makes you qualified?
As you prepare your speech to residents and existing board members about why you’d make a great fit, think about how you help the community. Like a company, board members and residents want to know how you’ll improve the current state of the neighborhood.
Will you bring management or leadership experience from your career? Do you have a strong financial background that can straighten out the budget? Have you lived in the neighborhood for 20 years and know the voice of the people?
If you’ve checked off all three boxes, look up your community bylaws, rules, and CC&Rs for specifics on how to run. If you want more information on this subject, click below to download IKO Community Management’s Guide To HOA Elections: