HOA Governance: The Manager and Board of Directors
Who is in charge of an HOA? You’ll want to know the roles and responsibilities of the manager and board of directors. Here’s your guide.
As a community, you have common interests that drive you forward. A homeowners association ensure those needs are met, offering services that your city or county can’t, stabilizing property values and ensuring that you have access to quality amenities.
The association’s board of directors is what makes it all possible.
Here’s a closer look at the roles that comprise the board of directors and what each board member does to serve the board (and your community) as a whole.
What is a Board of Directors?
A homeowners association is an organization overseeing the interests of a group of people. Homeowners pay fees to the association to maintain individual units, or the entire neighborhood. Apartments, condominiums, and houses may all have homeowners’ associations.
The board of directors is required for the association to function successfully. This is the governing body that makes decisions to drive the entire association forward.
The HOA Manager
Separate but related to the board of directors is the HOA manager. This is not to be confused with the HOA president.
The role of the board of directors is to govern the whole association, ensuring the board and community members remain compliant with federal, state, and local regulations. However, these are all elected, volunteer roles.
The HOA manager is connected to the HOA management company, which is separate from the board of directors. The management company is an outside vendor hired by the board of directors to assist in HOA governance through two core duties:
- Providing business advice
- Facilitating day-to-day operations of the community
The association manager is a representative of the management company, executing management duties on the board’s behalf. For example, they may solicit and evaluate bids for association services, account for financial activities, supervise contractors, and authorize payment for association services. Essentially, they’re the professional element of the association.
The Board of Directors
A board of directors is composed of multiple roles, all volunteer officials elected by the community’s homeowners at the annual meeting.
HOA board of directors positions may vary somewhat depending on the board, but all contain four positions: the president, the vice president, the secretary, and the treasurer. These roles are responsible for managing various aspects of HOA governance, as outlined in the HOA governing documents which the board enforces.
The HOA president fulfills various duties typically associated with the chief executive officer in a business. Basically, the president is the one at the helm of the ship, keeping the rest of the board focused, organized, and working toward agreed-upon goals.
For example, one of the most basic duties every president has is scheduling, attending, and running board meetings. This is a chance for the whole board to convene and make important decisions, which is why it’s critical to have the right director in charge.
Another key presidential duty is to serve as the point of contact for various association partners. Since they speak on behalf of the board, they’re able to represent the board alongside the HOA manager to potential partners.
The president also fulfills an essential communication role to association members. They let members know about essential board decisions and critical information that association members need to know.
The Vice President
The vice president serves mainly in support of the president. They may not get as much attention as the president, but having a good VP is just as important as having a good president.
Because the VP role exists first to fill in for the president, the VP has a lot of flexibility when they’re not filling in. This means that VPs often cover duties not under the responsibilities of other officers, and if your board is organized into committees, your VP often serves as chairman, or as a representative of the president to the community. They reinforce communication from the president to association members, which can help reinforce a positive relationship.
The HOA secretary is the association recordkeeper, tasked with maintaining all official records on the board’s behalf. But the role is so much more than clerical work. In reality, the secretary is one of the most important leadership roles on the entire board.
Homeowners associations must be able to provide information to their members upon request. This is where the secretary comes in. A great secretary will be highly organized and efficient, able to answer any questions and provide any information promptly. The secretary also works closely with the president to create meeting agendas and keeps minutes at the meeting to help the board stay on track.
So whether it’s maintenance history or tracking the board’s goals over time, if you need information, the secretary is the one who can give it to you.
Last but not least is the treasurer, who handles all incoming and outgoing financial transactions for the board. This includes everything from collecting association dues to issuing vendor payments.
In this regard, the treasurer is the lifeblood of the HOA.
The treasurer also serves a critical legal responsibility in maintaining budget and audit records for every fiscal year, working closely with accounting services. That way, the board always has its financial ducks in a row.
While other roles may have more flexibility in terms of the member’s background, the treasurer should be someone with financial expertise.
The Management Partner You Need in Your Community
The board of directors acts on the community’s behalf for the good of the whole. But in order to do that, they need the right partners to fulfill their duties. That’s where the right management partner makes the world of difference.
At Alpine Edge, we approach HOA management services by building long-term relationships with the communities we serve, ensuring the best experience for our communities through top-tier financial, administrative, and physical services. So if you’re ready to take a better approach to your HOA, get in touch today to learn how we can support you.