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Overview of the board of directors in HOAs

HOA Board of Directors Overview

Every HOA has to elect a board of directors which acts as the governing body for the HOA. Their primary tasks involve managing the association: ensuring that common areas are well maintained, that members are paying their fees on time, that fees are fair and enough for the HOA to take care of all aspects that the board has to manage, and finally that the board and all of its members are acting in accordance with the bylaws, and state, regional or national legislation. 

In addition, the board is responsible for managing the budget, maintenance of a reserve fund, maintaining accurate records, the collection of fees due, the provision of adequate insurance coverage, and the management of elections amongst many other roles. 


Board of Directors Overview

Directors are responsible for managing or supervising all aspects of the HOA, up to and including the AGM where certain members of the board are up for election once their term has come to an end. HOAs are structured differently, but they are generally expected to meet upwards of four times a year and to have an open dialogue with different management committees. In many HOAs, members of the board are volunteers and as such receive no compensation unless stated in the bylaws.

Term limits for board members are not mandatory in all states. Your management documents and bylaws will state how many years a board member may serve for and how many times they can seek re-election. While term lengths vary wildly, most directors serve for between 3 and 4 years. Elections are staggered so that not all members of the board have to be re-elected at once. 

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Composition of the Board

  • President
    • In essence the CEO of the Homeowner Association.
    • Should preside at all meetings of the board and membership
    • Signature is required on contracts in the name of the association
  • Vice President
    • Has all of the powers of the president in the president's absence or inability to act
    • VP does not usually inherit the role of president when the president leaves office, although this is dependent on the bylaws
    • Should chair one of the more important committees
  • Secretary
    • Responsible for maintaining a record of all meetings
    • Custodian of all official records of the HOA
    • Duty to ensure that records are accessible for all association members and representatives
  • Treasurer
    • Custodian of the funds of the HOA
    • Does not have the right to distribute funds without the confirmation of the board.
  • Directors at Large
    • Other members who are not elected to fulfill an official role but are elected to chair or help with various committees

Ensure that your elections are in accordance with your bylaws, or the result may be disputed. 

Board Election Rules

While the bylaws typically address the election process in HOAs, they are not the election rules. Under the Californian Davis-Stirling Act: Section 5105, for example, associations are obliged to adopt specific rules regarding their election procedures.

Simply conducting an election with the dual envelope and with a secret ballot is may not be enough if association specific election rules have not been published (and followed). A board which has been elected without election rules in place may result in civil action and the election being declared void. Be sure to know the legislation in your state and ensure that you follow all rules regarding elections.