There is plenty of overlap regarding the roles and responsibilities of an HOA board of trustees and an HOA management company. These two groups work together to help run a homeowners association and community, keeping everything running smoothly. Because of this, the lines of accountability become blurred, and either could be taking on tasks that aren’t part of their mandate.
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The Purpose of an HOA
An HOA (Homeowners Association) organization is typically created within a residential community or neighborhood to establish and enforce certain rules and regulations that govern the properties and the community as a whole. The primary purpose of an HOA is to maintain and enhance property values, ensure the community’s overall well-being, and promote a desirable living environment for its residents.
The specific purposes of an HOA may vary depending on the community’s needs and goals, but here are some common objectives:
- Maintenance and upkeep: HOAs often take responsibility for maintaining and managing common areas such as parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, clubhouses, and landscaping. They may also handle repairs and maintenance of shared infrastructure like roads, sidewalks, and street lighting.
- Rule enforcement: HOAs establish and enforce rules and guidelines known as “covenants, conditions, and restrictions” (CC&Rs) or bylaws. These rules aim to maintain a consistent aesthetic appeal, prevent nuisance behaviors, and protect property values. They can cover a wide range of topics, including architectural standards, landscaping requirements, noise regulations, pet policies, parking regulations, and more.
- Financial management: HOAs collect fees, known as assessments, from homeowners to fund the association’s operations, maintenance, and reserve funds. These assessments cover expenses such as landscaping, repairs, insurance, utilities, and administrative costs. The HOA is responsible for budgeting, accounting, and financial management to ensure proper allocation and utilization of funds.
- Community amenities and services: HOAs often provide additional amenities or services for the community’s benefit, such as security patrols, trash collection, snow removal, or community events. These offerings can help foster a sense of community and enhance residents’ quality of life.
- Dispute resolution: HOAs act as mediators to resolve conflicts or disputes that arise among residents, such as disagreements over noise, parking, or property boundaries. They may establish a process for handling complaints, conducting hearings, and imposing penalties or fines for violations.
- Governance and decision-making: HOAs typically have a board of trustees or a governing body elected by homeowners. This board makes decisions on behalf of the community, develops policies, approves budgets, and ensures compliance with governing documents. Homeowners may be able to participate in the decision-making process through meetings or committees.
It’s important to note that the specific powers and responsibilities of an HOA are outlined in the governing documents, which homeowners agree to abide by when purchasing a property within the community. These documents define the scope of the HOA’s authority and the rights and obligations of homeowners.
HOA Board Member Roles and Responsibilities
The main mandate of an HOA Board of Trustees leans toward the administrative aspect of HOA operations. While homeowners are responsible for caring for their properties, the HOA Board takes care of the community as a whole.
The HOA Board of Trustees has specific fiduciary duties and the power to create and mandate rules that help maintain a certain standard for the community. In addition, the Board is in charge of shared properties and communal areas. This includes shared walls, parks, pools, clubhouses, and neighborhood signs.
Each HOA has specific officer positions detailed in their governing documents that will be responsible for specific tasks within the HOA. It is up to the HOA Board of Trustees to detail the precise responsibilities of each officer and committee position. Here is an example of the responsibilities of typical board positions:
- Presiding over board meetings and annual general meetings
- Facilitating effective communication and decision-making among board members and residents
- Preparing meeting agendas and ensuring adherence to protocols and timelines
- Maintaining positive community relations and addressing resident concerns
- Providing timely and accurate information to homeowners and responding to inquiries
- Resolving disputes and coordinating with relevant parties for maintenance and security issues
- Collaborating with the treasurer to develop and monitor the HOA budget
- Ensuring timely collection of dues and fees
- Overseeing financial reports and audits
- Establishing and enforcing policies and rules for the community
- Representing the association in legal matters and staying updated on relevant legislation
- Upholding the HOA’s governing documents and promoting a harmonious living environment.
- Assisting the HOA President in overseeing the operations and administration of the homeowners association
- Acting as a substitute or proxy for the President in their absence or inability to perform duties
- Collaborating with the President and other board members in decision-making and policy development
- Supporting the President in conducting board meetings and annual general meetings
- Assisting in the preparation of meeting agendas and gathering reports and updates from board members
- Participating in community relations by addressing resident concerns and providing information as needed
- Assisting in financial management, including budget development and monitoring, and ensuring timely collection of dues and fees
- Working with the President and other board members to establish and enforce community policies and rules
- Representing the association in legal matters, in coordination with the President
- Supporting the President in upholding the HOA’s governing documents and promoting a harmonious living environment.
- Recording accurate minutes during board meetings and annual general meetings
- Maintaining an organized record of official association documents, including bylaws, meeting minutes, and correspondence
- Assisting the President in preparing meeting agendas and distributing meeting materials to board members and residents
- Handling official correspondence and communications on behalf of the homeowners association
- Notifying board members and residents of upcoming meetings and important updates
- Managing HOA records and maintaining confidentiality of sensitive information
- Coordinating with the President and other board members to ensure compliance with governing documents and applicable laws
- Assisting in the preparation and distribution of official notices and announcements to homeowners
- Supporting the President and other board members in administrative tasks as needed
- Upholding ethical standards and promoting transparency in the association’s operations.
- Managing and overseeing the financial affairs of the homeowners association
- Developing and monitoring the HOA budget
- Collecting and recording dues and fees from homeowners
- Ensuring timely payment of bills and invoices
- Keeping accurate financial records and maintaining financial accounts
- Preparing financial reports and presenting them to the board and residents as required
- Coordinating with the President and other board members in financial decision-making
- Collaborating with external accountants or auditors for financial audits or reviews
- Providing financial guidance and recommendations to the board for budget planning and financial management
- Ensuring compliance with financial regulations and reporting requirements
- Assisting in the development and enforcement of financial policies and procedures.
- Developing and implementing plans for the maintenance and improvement of parks and recreational areas within the community
- Conducting regular inspections of parks and recreational facilities to assess their condition and identify necessary repairs or enhancements
- Collaborating with vendors, contractors, and volunteers to coordinate and oversee park maintenance activities, such as landscaping, cleaning, and repairs
- Planning and organizing community events and activities in parks and recreational areas
- Soliciting feedback and suggestions from residents regarding park amenities and programming
- Researching and proposing new park amenities, features, or upgrades to enhance the community’s recreational options
- Ensuring compliance with safety regulations and maintaining a safe environment within parks and recreational areas
- Assisting the treasurer with park-related finances, including budgeting for maintenance, repairs, and improvements
- Communicating updates and information about park-related matters to homeowners and the HOA board
- Collaborating with other committees or community organizations to promote the use and enjoyment of parks and recreational spaces.
ARC stands for Architectural Review Committee and is usually responsible for approving structural and decorative improvements for the properties within the HOA.
- Reviewing and evaluating architectural proposals and applications submitted by homeowners
- Ensuring proposed changes to properties comply with the HOA’s architectural guidelines and governing documents
- Conducting site visits and inspections to assess the potential impact of proposed changes on the community’s aesthetic and architectural standards
- Communicating with homeowners to provide guidance and clarification regarding the architectural review process and requirements
- Collaborating with homeowners and architects to suggest modifications or alternatives that align with the HOA’s architectural guidelines
- Documenting and maintaining records of architectural review applications, decisions, and correspondence
- Enforcing architectural standards and guidelines by addressing non-compliance issues and taking appropriate actions, such as issuing warnings or fines
- Providing recommendations and guidance to the HOA board on updates or revisions to architectural guidelines and policies
- Keeping up-to-date with relevant zoning regulations, building codes, and architectural trends that may impact the community
- Promoting and maintaining the community’s architectural integrity and overall aesthetic appeal.
Role of an HOA Management Company
An HOA management company, also known as a property management company, is a professional organization hired by a homeowners association (HOA) to assist in the day-to-day operations and management of the community. The primary role of an HOA management company is to support and work alongside the HOA board of trustees in carrying out their responsibilities and ensuring the smooth functioning of the community.
Here are some of the key functions and services typically provided by an HOA management company:
- Administrative support: The management company handles administrative tasks such as maintaining records, organizing meetings, preparing agendas and meeting minutes, managing correspondence, and maintaining official HOA documents.
- Financial management: HOA management companies handle the financial aspects of the community, including collecting assessments, managing the association’s bank accounts, budgeting, and financial reporting, paying bills and invoices, and preparing financial statements for the board’s review.
- Maintenance and repairs: The management company assists with coordinating and overseeing maintenance and repair activities within the community. This can include obtaining and supervising vendors or contractors for landscaping, common area upkeep, trash removal, pool maintenance, and other necessary services.
- Rule enforcement and compliance: The management company helps enforce the community’s rules and regulations as established by the HOA. They may send out violation notices, follow up on compliance, and coordinate appropriate actions or penalties when necessary.
- Communication and community relations: The management company serves as a point of contact for homeowners, handling inquiries, requests, and concerns. They often maintain a dedicated phone line or email address for residents to reach out to. Additionally, they may assist in facilitating communication between the HOA board and homeowners through newsletters, websites, or community forums.
- Vendor and contractor management: HOA management companies often have established relationships with reputable vendors and contractors. They can help solicit bids, negotiate contracts, and oversee the work of these service providers to ensure quality and cost-effective services for the community.
- Legal and regulatory compliance: The management company can assist the HOA in staying compliant with applicable laws, regulations, and HOA governing documents. They may work with legal counsel to address legal matters and provide guidance on compliance issues.
By hiring an HOA management company, the board of trustees can delegate various administrative, financial, and operational tasks, allowing them to focus on strategic decision-making and policy development for the community. The management company acts as a professional partner, supporting the HOA in efficiently managing the community and meeting the needs of homeowners.
In summary, an HOA management company assists in the daily operations of maintaining a community. Most Board members do not have the skills nor time to handle the work needed, so they hire an HOA management team.
Real-World Examples of Using an HOA Management Company
Should an HOA board not have the assistance of an HOA management company, then the entire responsibility of the board is solely on the board members. However, if an HOA does hire a management company, then an HOA board can more easily and effectively run their organization.
Here are some typical job splits that happen when using an HOA management company:
Duties of an HOA Board of Trustees
- Governance: The board of trustees is elected by the homeowners and represents their interests. They make decisions and set policies for the community, establish and enforce rules, and ensure compliance with governing documents.
- Strategic Planning: The board develops the long-term vision and goals for the community, focusing on issues such as property values, community development, and resident satisfaction. They make important decisions regarding finances, amenities, and major projects.
- Homeowner Advocacy: The board acts as a voice for the homeowners, addressing concerns, resolving disputes, and representing their interests in community matters.
- Ultimate Decision-Making: The board has the final authority in making decisions for the association, including the selection and oversight of the management company (if applicable).
Duties of an HOA Management Company
- Operational Support: The management company provides the HOA board with professional administrative and operational support. They handle day-to-day tasks such as financial management, maintenance coordination, vendor management, and resident communication.
- Expertise and Experience: The management company brings specialized knowledge and experience in managing communities. They understand best practices, legal requirements, and industry standards to help the board navigate complex issues.
- Administrative Efficiency: The management company takes care of administrative tasks, such as record-keeping, meeting coordination, and official document management, allowing the board to focus on strategic decision-making.
- Financial and Maintenance Management: The management company assists in financial planning, budgeting, and collecting assessments. They also coordinate maintenance and repairs, working with vendors and contractors to ensure the community’s upkeep.
- Rule Enforcement: The management company supports the board in enforcing community rules and regulations, sending violation notices, conducting inspections, and following up on compliance matters.
- Resident Communication: The management company serves as a point of contact for homeowners, handling inquiries, requests, and concerns. They facilitate effective communication between the board and residents through various channels.
In summary, the HOA board of trustees primarily focuses on governance, strategic planning, and decision-making, while the HOA management company provides operational support, expertise, and efficient management of day-to-day tasks. The board sets the direction for the community, and the management company assists in executing and managing those decisions effectively.
Work With a Trusted HOA Management Company
The daily operations of an HOA shouldn’t fall solely on the Board members. These tasks can impede your personal schedule, and your team may not have the skills to handle the work in the first place. That’s why working with an HOA management company like Innovative Management is much more effective. Get in touch with us today for more information about the benefits of hiring an HOA management company.