Common-interest communities typically have a board of directors to govern their association and ensure the community runs smoothly. The board consists of volunteers who execute a wide variety of tasks you may not be aware of; however, their work affects every single resident.
One of the most important things the board does is create and enforce the association rules. While some residents may not like being told what they can and can’t do, ultimately the board is looking out for the greater good. By enforcing the rules, the board is doing its best to keep property value up and conflicts down. Of course, the board wants to make sure the rules are beneficial for the majority—and hopefully all—residents. If your community employs a management company of on-site manager, they are the folks who usually enforce the community rules on behalf of the board of directors.
Another major responsibility of the board is to collect assessments from homeowners. Collecting this money is important for the stability of any association, because the assessments pay for the common elements enjoyed by all residents. Assessments also help to replenish the reserve funds, which pay for any major repairs an association may need. The board is responsible for the association’s finances, and collecting assessments is how it ensures that an association remains solvent.
Board members should take advantage of training programs usually offered by community association law firms, Community Associations Institute and other industry professionals. Many times those who volunteer to serve on a board do not completely understand their fiduciary duties. Seeking educational opportunities will provide the board members appropriate tools and understanding to govern accordingly.
Finally, the board acts on behalf of the association by hiring managers, attorneys, contractors and other professionals who help better the association. Board members also help conceive and lead many of the projects that will improve their community.
While it’s a big job, most board members are happy to serve their residents and make their community a great place to call home. So why not learn more about what these volunteers do by talking to your board members, attending an open board meeting or even running for a seat on the board during your community’s next election?
Midtown resident Tim Huffman is a licensed Community Association Manager and holds the CMCA®, AMS® and PCAM® designations from Community Associations Institute.