Maybe you don’t like the way your Homeowners’ Association (“HOA”) is running things. Maybe you just want to become more involved in your planned community. Either way, if you want to become an HOA board member, you need to know what’s involved.
What the HOA Does
When you buy a home in a planned community, you automatically become a member of the HOA. Most HOAs are run by a board, which is made up of HOA members. Board members are elected by other HOA members to serve on the board.
The HOA is responsible for taking care of the development’s common areas. It is up to the HOA to see that all areas are uniformly maintained and repaired and that everything operates correctly.
What Do Board Members Do?
The powers of the HOA and its board members are found in the corporate laws relating to nonprofit corporations for your state as well as any specific state laws governing planned developments, and in the association’s governing documents. These documents are:
- the HOA’s articles of incorporation and bylaws
- the declaration of conditions, covenants, and restrictions (CC&Rs)
- and any easements.
To fulfill its responsibilities regarding the common areas, most HOAs must adopt an annual budget and collect dues and assessments from HOA members (the homeowners) to pay for the budget. HOAs also adopt and enforce rules and regulations (for example, parking rules and regulations) to carry out the HOA’s responsibilities.
Board Members and Officers
Typically, the HOA’s governing documents (CC&Rs, bylaws and articles of incorporation) require the HOA to have a minimum number of board members. The governing documents of the HOA define who can serve on the board and how board members are elected. They also specify voting rights and procedures, when board meetings will be held, and what the meeting will typically consist of.
To get on the board, you will have to be elected. But once there, you have a number of responsibilities and obligations to the members of the HOA. While sometimes it may seem as though the board has free rein to make up rules and do anything they want to, that isn’t so. Board members have a serious legal duty that they must live up to.
Specifically, as a board member, you have a fiduciary duty to all HOA members. This means that while you are serving on the board, you must always act in good faith. You must:
- act in the best interests of the HOA as a whole (and avoid any conflict of interests)
- be informed prior to acting
- not take any actions without proper authority, and
- not take negligent, or willfully harmful actions.
All HOAs need good board members. Becoming active in your HOA is a great thing to do as long as you are prepared to live up to your responsibilities.
Assisting You With All Your Real Estate Needs
At the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, we put our real estate experience to work for you. We have offices in Cumming and we serve Atlanta and multiple counties, including: Clayton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Douglas County, Fulton County, and Paulding County, among others. To schedule your free phone consultation, call us at: 770-888-7707. Or contact us here.