Understanding HOA Board Member Roles & Responsibilities - LBPM

Understanding HOA Board Member Roles & Responsibilities

Understanding HOA Board Member Roles & Responsibilities

Typically, there are four HOA board member roles: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Each one of these board of directors positions plays an integral role within the association.

There are many HOA board member duties, some of which overlap from member to member. Moreover, certain HOA board member responsibilities can be delegated to other board members or committees. In some cases, a professional third party can come in to manage an association. An HOA management company would then assume much of the management functions of an HOA board of directors.

The essential purpose of any HOA board of directors, whether conducted internally or by outside professionals, is to manage the association through each member’s respective duties, outlined below.

Duties of Directors

Whether or not your community uses outside professionals, when a homeowner becomes a board member, he/she assumes certain obligations as a director that must be carried out in the best interests of the association.

  1. Fiduciary Duties. Directors are held to a higher standard and must fulfill their duties of loyalty and due diligence.
  2. Confidentiality. Directors have a duty of confidentiality, i.e., there are matters that directors must keep in confidence.
  3. Board Meetings. Attend and participate in meetings so they can be informed about the association’s business.
  4. Maintenance. Maintain the common areas on behalf of the membership (Civ. Code § 4775)
  5. Rules Enforcement. Enforce the governing documents via warnings, hearings, fines, suspension of privileges, and litigation. 
  6. Financial Management. Boards are obligated to collect assessments necessary to properly maintain the property and enforce the governing documents. (Civ. Code § 5600.) To that end, they must prepare budgets, levy and collect assessments, pay bills, review financial records, and prepare year-end financial statements.
  7. Operational Management. Manage the day to day operations of the association. This includes retaining (as needed) management services, legal services, landscape vendors, pest control, operating amenities (pools, tennis courts, clubhouses, equestrian facilities, golf course, etc.), purchasing insurance, etc.

Authority to Perform Duties. To carry out their duties, boards have authority as provided by the governing documents and statute. Directors must perform their duties as fiduciaries.

Duties of President

Unless an association’s governing documents state otherwise, the president is elected by fellow directors, not by the membership, and serves at the pleasure of the board. (Corp. Code §7213.) 

Duties. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, a president’s duties generally include:

  • presiding over board and membership meetings,
  • serving as liaison between management and the board,
  • prepare the meeting agendas
  • serving as liaison between the association’s attorney and the board,
  • serving as general manager and overseeing day-to-day matters, such as meeting with vendors, soliciting bids, etc. (unless a manager has been hired to handle those duties),
  • serving as an ex officio member of committees.

No Veto Power. The president cannot veto board decisions.

Duties of Vice President

The person selected by the board to serve as vice president serves at the pleasure of the board. The bylaws should describe the duties of the vice president. Normally, those duties are as follows:

  • performs the duties of the president in the president’s absence; and
  • may be called upon by the president to share some of the president’s duties.

Duties of Treasurer

Treasurers do not have unlimited authority over the association’s monies. Unless the governing documents provide otherwise, a treasurer’s duties are as follows:

  • oversee the association’s operating account and reserve account,
  • keep and maintaining the association’s financial documents,
  • oversee the deposits,
  • oversee investments,
  • ensure that bills are paid,
  • oversee the preparation of the budget,
  • ensure that a report of financial transactions are made to the board,
  • ensure that a reserve study is prepared,
  • serve as the board’s liaison with the association’s auditor,
  • review and implement safeguards to protect the association’s financial assets,
  • ensure that tax returns are filed on time, and

The treasurer can delegate many of his/her duties to the manager, management company, or an assistant, but must oversee the work.

Duties of Vice President

The person selected by the board to serve as vice president serves at the pleasure of the board. The bylaws should describe the duties of the vice president. Normally, those duties are as follows:

  • performs the duties of the president in the president’s absence; and
  • may be called upon by the president to share some of the president’s duties.

Duties of the Secretary

Unless the governing documents provide otherwise, a secretary’s duties are as follows:

  • oversee giving notice of board and membership meetings,
  • ensure that minutes of meetings are taken and approved (can use assistant),
  • sign a copy of the final, approved minutes,
  • oversee the preparation of the membership list,
  • file appropriate documents with the Secretary of State,
  • as custodian of records, ensure that the association’s records are maintained, and

The secretary may delegate many of his/her duties to the manager, management company, or an assistant, but must oversee the work.

Director-Member at Large

A director at large has the same voting rights as all other directors and the role can be incredibly diverse, as its main duties can vary widely from association to association, but basically, a member-at-large serves as the intermediary between the board and the homeowners. Additionally, they may often be assigned specific projects, including positions on committees, that don’t fit neatly within the roles of other board members. In this function, members-at-large help ensure the board’s goals are met.

Being a board member is no easy task. There is a lot involved.  But, if you’re able to put the welfare of the community first, exercise good judgment, remain calm in heated situations and be committed to the community as a whole, volunteering for a board or committee position may be the right choice for you.