An Orlando HOA Management Company Explains the Roles of the BoardLiam Pool
HOA board members usually serve in a voluntary capacity, and they have a lot of responsibilities with their role managing and directing the community association. As an HOA management company, we’re being called to help a lot of HOA boards manage their workload and the expectations of their homeowners and communities.
The Community Association Institute has reported that nearly 80 million people live in an HOA community today, and the numbers continue to grow, especially as new construction developments spread across Orlando. Those communities require leadership from their boards.
Every association is a little different in how they’re set up, what they accomplish for their communities, and how they enforce their rules and regulations.
Here is a look at how they’re generally set up, what the role of the board of directors is, and how property management companies can help support all aspects of community association management.
HOA Board Roles and Structure
Every community association is different, but most HOA boards are structured with the election of four officer positions: president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary. In some HOAs, you’ll also find a member-at-large position.
In some condo associations, board members apply for the role and must submit their applications 60 days before the board meetings. The board roles and titles will be listed in the governing documents, as will the procedure for election or appointment.
Board officers participate in the governing of the community to enforce the bylaws, rules, and regulations that all homeowners agree to. Each officer and board member has a set of specific responsibilities designed to help board members serve and improve the community.
- Board President and Vice-President Roles and Responsibilities
Your HOA board president is the most visible member of your HOA. They’re responsible for overseeing board meetings and communicating with homeowners and other interested parties. Proper meeting procedures and documentation must be maintained, and every meeting has to stay on task. The board president is expected to preside over the meetings and work with the entire board, various committees, and homeowners themselves. The board president also sets the tone of the entire board and the community.
Board presidents are elected. To be effective, they need to have an in-depth knowledge of the community’s CC&Rs, bylaws, and other governing documents. They need to know the federal and state laws that govern HOAs, and they often serve as the representative of the community, signing legal paperwork, making statements, and communicating with the entire organization.
An Orlando HOA board vice-president does what most vice-presidents do. They support the president in managing and overseeing the business and the community and take charge when the president is unavailable. The vice-president should also have knowledge of legal requirements as well as governing documents.
- Board Secretary and Treasurer Roles and Responsibilities
The board secretary will keep meetings, documents, and communication organized. All the corporate records will be the responsibility of the secretary. They’ll also be expected to meet any filing deadlines for legal paperwork and develop meeting agendas and minutes.
Perhaps the most important board member is the treasurer. The board treasurer controls the association’s finances. Treasurers usually oversee billing and collections and manage the operating and reserve funds. You can expect them to pay vendor invoices and collect RFPs when a new vendor is needed or a project needs to be completed.
- Members-at-large and Board Committees
If an Orlando HOA board also has a member-at-large, that role can be expected to serve as a liaison between the board and the homeowners within the community. Members-at-large attend and contribute to board meetings, provide input and feedback, and foster open and transparent communication between all parties. There might be specific committees assigned or community projects as well. It’s a supportive role that many boards find to be valuable.
- Community Association Management Roles
Many Orlando HOAs will work with a property management company. In that case, a lot of duties will be delegated, particularly billing and financial management. However, even with professional help, the HOA board members will be seen as the representatives of the community. The leadership is with these elected roles, not the property management partners.
Orlando HOA Board Governance
Governance and oversight are the two most important responsibilities of any HOA board.
Boards are bound to the governing documents within the community association. They are required and empowered to hold the homeowners in the community accountable to all the rules and regulations that make up those governing documents. These are rules that have been voted on and accepted as part of the community standards.
Enforcement is not always easy for board members because they’re often put into situations where they have to hold their friends and neighbors accountable. There are always stories about board members who take their authority too far. Other board members may be prone to not enforcing the rules because they’re afraid of being unpopular. Striking the right balance can be a challenge, and that’s one of the reasons that HOAs hire community association management companies.
Property managers can provide the oversight that’s necessary to protect the community and ensure everyone is treated fairly and consistently. There’s a bit of a buffer between the board and the neighbors who may receive violation notices and financial penalties.
Orlando HOA Boards and Financial Responsibilities
HOA budgeting is detail-oriented and well-documented. The board is required to track all the income and expenses associated with the community association. They have to pay the community’s bills and forecast the capital improvements that may be needed in the future. An Orlando HOA board will be responsible for establishing and following association budgets.
Board members will be tasked with reviewing the current budget to ensure there is no overspending. The board treasurer is likely to provide financial reports, accounting statements, and recommendations to the full board as well as the community at large.
We work with HOA budgets and finances all the time. If you’ve partnered with a community association management company, you can rely on their expertise and technology to guide you through the budgeting and forecasting process. We like to plan for the coming year and even the next five or 10 years. You don’t want to be caught off guard if the community clubhouse needs new paint or the exterior lighting needs an update.
While the treasurer will typically be responsible for finances, the entire board needs to be well-informed about the financial situation of the association. Special attention to an annual reserve fund analysis will be necessary. A reserve is incredibly important to the stability of the community. The board will be expected to make sure homeowners are contributing enough to cover expected expenses as well as surprise expenses that might come up. If a new security gate needs to be installed or a tropical storm floods a lot of the roads, you’ll need to be prepared financially.
Managing HOA Board Meetings
Your bylaws will establish how often the board needs to meet and how the annual meeting should be structured and communicated to residents. You want to drive interest and participation within the community. Homeowners have a right to attend or participate in these board meetings, so anyone who is interested in the business of the board or has something to share with the community leadership should attend the meeting.
The HOA board is expected to facilitate a well-run board meeting with an agenda and minutes. Meetings need to stay on track and be productive. Those meeting minutes become a matter of official record. They need to be accurate, transparent, and kept on file in case any homeowners in the community want to see them.
The board meeting is not intended to hear every grievance from every homeowner. The board leadership needs to keep the meetings focused and on time. Set time limits on the agenda for each topic, and you’ll also want to make sure you balance the need to hear from your homeowners with the need to stick to your agenda and your rule of order. Ask for questions and comments ahead of the board meeting so you can keep things controlled.
Why Work with HOA Management Company?
Whether you’re serving on an HOA board or a condo association board, you can benefit from experienced and professional Orlando property management. We can help your board stay organized, responsive, and communicative. When you work with a professional property management company that’s experienced with HOAs, you can expect a lot of support and extra resources. If you keep running into a specific problem or challenge, there’s a good chance we’ve worked around it in the past. Partnering with a property manager will also free up some time when it comes to taking care of the day-to-day issues so you can engage in long term planning for the community.
Depending on the size and scope of your association, you may rely on a management company to coordinate repairs and gather quotes. Your association management company can help with the accounting and reporting or take care of dues and fines. At Homevest Management, we have worked with association boards of all sizes and structures. We’re ready to help.
Questions about how your HOA board can be more efficient and effective? Contact our team at Homevest Management. We are the leaders in expert Orlando property management, real estate, property rentals, and HOA management serving all of Central Florida, including Winter Garden, Doctor Phillips, Baldwin Park, Winter Springs, and Windermere.