The Board of Directors is the governing body of the association responsible for operating the association. They are unpaid volunteers, elected by a vote of the association members, who donate their time for service.
The board is given the responsibility of setting the association's policies, standards, programs, and annual budget. In most associations, the board is specifically empowered and directed to:
- Prepare the annual budget for the association
- Establish the rate of the assessments
- Collect all assessments due the association
- Provide for necessary operational personnel
- Make and amend the community rules
- Enforce all provisions of the governing documents
- Provide for insurance for the common areas
- Keep detailed association financial and accounting records
- Provide for care and upkeep of the common areas
- Perform all acts necessary for the association's administration
- Oversee the maintenance of all common areas and any amenities located within the community
While these duties provide the board significant authority, members have the opportunity of participating in the decision-making process through voting in board elections, serving on any special committees required by the bylaws, and by providing input at association meetings.
The bylaws of an association more clearly define the role and responsibility of the board as a whole as well as the individual directors. As volunteers, directors are not personally liable for their actions, but they are not immune from litigation should they act in a criminal or negligent manner. The primary duty of a director and board is to act in a way that benefits the community as a whole, not themselves or another individual. The legal standard most often used in weighing a board's action is whether it used "reasonable judgment" in making a decision.
Many associations have difficulty finding owners willing to serve on their board. Those members who really care about their community and fellow residents should take the time to serve. After all, the best way to stay involved with your association is by taking a leadership role.