HOA duties: When to delegate, when not to

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Learn which duties your HOA board members should perform themselves, and which they can task others to complete.

The board of a homeowners association (HOA) has many duties assigned to it through the community’s governing documents. But homeowners who volunteer to be part of the HOA’s board may quickly find themselves overwhelmed with running the community, leading to board member burn-out. Delegating some tasks can help prevent this, but some tasks should only be completed by board members. Here’s a quick look at a few tasks that can be delegated, and a few that never should be.

HOA tasks your board can delegate

You know the saying: It takes a village… The same is true for managing your community association. Here’s when you should consider delegating tasks to other homeowners or third-party vendors.

  1. Requests that need extensive research. Instead, encourage the homeowner who initiated the request to research and present their findings to the board.
  2. Administrative work. Don’t spend time copying documents, folding, inserting into envelopes, etc. Pay for a mailing service to do these types of tasks.
  3. Bookkeeping. If you don’t use a management company, hire a bookkeeper. (Or, consider hiring a management company which will take administer your HOA’s books and other tasks.)
  4. Tasks that require certain expertise. Your community is filled with knowledgeable, capable people. Ask those with specialized skills to pitch in where they can, whether it’s landscaping, social events or maintenance.

When delegating tasks, be clear about what needs to be done and by when. Then, get out of the way—but be sure that board receives regular progress updates and check the work when completed.

HOA tasks that should only be performed by your board

While your HOA board should delegate tasks where it can, some duties should only be performed by board members. This helps ensure that your community’s interests are well represented and that your HOA’s finances are properly taken care of. These duties include:

  1. Signing checks over a certain dollar amount. If your community has a bookkeeper or management company, don’t give them free rein to sign checks. Limit the dollar amount they are authorized to issue and sign.
  2. Enforcing rules and assessing fines. No one except your board should enforce your HOA’s rules or assess fines for any rule violations. These actions must follow proper procedures as outlined in your governing documents.
  3. Filing a lien against a homeowner. If your HOA uses a management company, they can follow the procedures outlined in your association’s governing documents regarding liens—but the lien process should be initiated by the board.
  4. Hiring and terminating vendors. Your HOA board can request help in procuring and reviewing bids, but the ultimate decision to hire or fire a vendor should lay with your board members.
  5. Arranging annual audits. Every HOA should perform an annual audit, which should be initiated by the HOA board with an independent CPA. The board should also oversee the audit process.

While many HOA board tasks can be delegated to others, board members have a fiduciary duty to perform the duties assigned to them by your association’s governing documents in a fair and sound manner. Keeping important duties within the responsibility of your HOA board helps ensure that the interests of your association are always the top priority.

This article contains general information; individual financial situations are unique.

Source: HOALeader.com, RealtyTimes.com
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