About 29 percent of the U.S. population lives in a community governed by a homeowners association (HOA). That amounts to 258,000 neighborhoods and condo complexes, and more than 74 million residents.
There are many advantages to an HOA. These include standards that help make the neighborhood a better place to live and keep home values up. There are a lot of responsibilities to serving on an HOA board of directors as well.
Below are the main duties and functions of a typical HOA board. Keep reading to find out what you can expect in your Vancouver, Washington, neighborhood.
One of the main responsibilities of HOA board members is ensuring the upkeep of common grounds and buildings. Examples include scheduling landscaping for green areas or maintenance for entryway gates.
It often means staying on top of HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and pest control for communal buildings. This responsibility extends to any amenities in the community as well.
Fitness centers, swimming pools, walking trails, and dog parks all require regular upkeep. It is up to the HOA board to see that this is carried out.
Planning Community Improvements
Besides regular maintenance, HOA boards are responsible for making community improvements. These might include adding amenities that residents want or finding solutions to problems in the neighborhood. Common examples are potholes or dilapidated sidewalks, which are typically owned by the association.
All this can entail meeting with and deciding on the right contractors. It might also involve scheduling and overseeing volunteer work days for community members.
Managing the Association's Budget
Almost everything mentioned above requires money, which comes from annual dues paid by residents. The HOA board is responsible for managing these funds, ensuring they go to the best uses for the community. This includes maintenance and improvement projects, as well as HOA insurance policy premiums.
This requires some basic level of accounting and bookkeeping. It also involves presenting an annual budget to community members and getting their feedback on it.
Enforcing Community Standards
A final major responsibility of HOA boards is enforcing community standards. These cover everything from lawn maintenance to permissible paint colors for homes. These differ from one community to the next, as they are decided upon by residents themselves.
This also can involve levying and collecting fines for HOA community members who fail to meet standards or who have not paid dues. In rare cases, this could require seeking liens or other legal mechanisms for residents who do not abide by community rules.
Get Assistance Accomplishing HOA Board Responsibilities
Now that you understand the functions and responsibilities of an HOA board, you can plan accordingly. Keep in mind that an elected board is usually made up of volunteer community members. An experienced HOA management company can provide support and alleviate a lot of time and work for them.
Invest West Management is a local, family-owned real estate business with over 40 years of service to our clients throughout Oregon and Washington. We offer a range of services, including association management and HOA board member resources. Reach out to us today to set up a free consultation.