Homeowner Association (HOA) Boards that operate in effective and healthy ways for the benefit of their Association, operate with every Board member playing a distinct and active role relating to a specific area of responsibility. Each Board member should be the point of contact on their given area of responsibility.
Generally, a Board of Directors consists of five members, including a President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Director or Member at Large. Some By-laws provide for a three-member Board, in which case a Board member may have to wear more than one hat and serve as President and Treasurer, or Treasurer and Secretary, etc.
The By-laws of the Association outline the roles and responsibility of each Board member’s position. Below are general descriptions of the duties of each Board position:
- Chief executive officer and leader of the Association
- Presides at all meetings of the Board and membership
- Responsible for setting the agenda, and running all meetings—keeping them moving, on time, and seeing that decisions are made in an orderly manner according to the agenda
- Executes legal documents on behalf of the Association, along with the Secretary
- Sets meeting agendas
- Represents the Board before all homeowners. While the president may not unilaterally speak for the Board, he/she should always be the voice of the Board
- May have nomination, if not appointment, responsibility for all committees
- Has the same voting power as any other Board member
- Liaison with Property Manager
Qualities that would be helpful for the Board President: Experience as a manager; leader; able to delegate; articulate; well-organized; willing and able to communicate with the Property Manager as needed.
- Performs all of the duties of the President in his or her absence
- Typically shares some of the burden of the president regarding appearances, liaison, etc.
- Usually handles assigned liaison responsibility to specific staff or contractors and to specific committees as directed by the President
Qualities that would be helpful for the Vice-President: same as President; willing to learn and grow into the role of President.
- Prepares and distributes Board and membership meeting agenda, minutes, and other documents as needed
- Maintains minutes book of all meetings
- Maintains “book of resolutions”
- Timekeeper at Board meetings
- Maintains all official records, including official correspondence, contracts, membership roster, etc.
- Attests, by signature, to the legitimacy of certain documents such as bank signature cards
Qualities that would be helpful for the Secretary: Able to prepare notices and minutes for distribution. Short hand is not required. Very often an Association will hire an outside recording secretary to take minutes, relieving the Secretary of this responsibility.
- Chief financial officer of the Association
- Works with Property Manager, contractors, and committees to develop and submit annual operating budget for review and approval by the Board
- Receives and reviews weekly payables, signs and mails checks to vendors
- Oversees receipt and disbursement of funds, as authorized
- Reports to the Board at each meeting on budgetary matters
- Approves/monitors investments
- Reviews monthly financial reports
- Coordinates board actions on transfers to and from the reserve account
Qualities that would be helpful for the Treasurer: Able to read and understand basic financial statements. It is possible to be overqualified for this role for some people who have been involved professionally in high level accounting positions as a CFO or controller; however such work experience may benefit the Association greatly from a financial management standpoint.
The Member at Large
- Typically available for special projects, subject to the direction of the President
- May serve as the maintenance liaison
- Has an equal vote on all matters
Important Notes for ALL Directors
- Come to meetings prepared
- Keep a healthy perspective and maintain a professional demeanor at all times
- Accept and support the President as the leader
- Set personal issues aside
- Encourage others to participate by example
- Be open and fair
- Avoid surprising other Board members or the property manager at meetings
- Present/maintain a unified front at all Board meetings, and once a vote is cast for a motion
- Act in good faith and in the best interest of the Association and its members