Well-organized and happy communities stem from a properly managed Homeowners Association (HOA). According to recent studies, there is a high probability of finding an HOA property while seeking a new home.
In fact, the HOA includes 80% of houses in new neighborhoods and almost 60% of newly-built single-family homes. Moreover, since its inception in the early to mid-20th century, the HOA has enjoyed a massive 260% growth.
By implication, nearly 310,000 communities are part of the HOA in the U.S. However, performing your duties could be daunting if you are a new board member and have no idea where to start.
Why You Should Have a Managed HOA
For new board members, it is crucial to understand the roles and responsibilities of an HOA board member. The best way to do this is by familiarizing yourself with your new HOA management checklist or choosing an experienced mentor to teach you the ropes.
This article will provide you with a checklist for new Homeowners Association board members to navigate the various tasks presented first.
HOA Audit Checklist
Before any new HOA board members can be elected, the current HOA board should audit all accounts and records. This is very important because new members need to know about any outstanding fees or liens, including unpaid dues, fines, etc.
The HOA Board also needs to review budgets and bylaws with a fine-tooth comb to guarantee consistency with the previous year’s budgeting process and changes made at Annual Meetings (if there were any).
In addition, new officers require training in how the financials are handled. Reviewing budgets will help them understand the real implications of new projects or suggested changes for their community.
As part of an HOA audit, the new board members need to ask hard questions about any further financial proposals being made by current officers or committee chairs – especially if there is a lot of pressure to act quickly on something specific.
HOA Budget Preparation Checklist
The HOA board members are responsible for creating the new budget each fiscal year. To start, they must first learn what is required of them by state law and their governing documents, including the time needed for preparation.
Building a new budget demands research on expenditures from previous years and current revenue reports. It also includes forecasts to determine income amounts, capital expenses that may occur during the financial period under consideration, including:
- Roof replacement
- Insurance premiums due during this same timeframe
- Turnover costs such as those incurred when someone leaves an HOA position or moves out of the neighborhood
There are additional costs associated with creating legal documentation, like meeting agendas and meeting minutes. As you can see, new homeowners association board members have their work cut out for them when undertaking this task!
HOA Property Maintenance Checklist
The primary goal of the HOA is to ensure a maintained community. Therefore, it is critical to have a property maintenance checklist specifically for this purpose. Communities that don’t invest in this deteriorate much faster, leading to plummeting home values.
Regardless of their size, communities must have a maintenance plan to ensure they have the necessary cash available to maintain the community both now and down the road. First, the property checklist helps to keep mistakes to a bare minimum.
An ideal managed HOA maintenance checklist should include community amenities, utilities, interior, exterior, and common areas.
HOA Home Cleaning Checklist
Regular cleaning is essential for keeping a property in good shape, but it deserves a separate checklist because homeowners should do the job several times each month. If you have a lawn and pool service company, they need to be advised of the rules for cleaning and maintenance schedules.
After the winter, there is a need to clean around the common grounds and homes thoroughly because leaves and other kinds of dirt have accumulated during the season. Depending on the location, snow removal will also be necessary for areas that see accumulation.
You may want to consider hiring an external cleaning company a few times per month, so they are responsible for essential maintenance services such as deep-cleaning common areas inside and outside the community.
HOA Newsletter Template
An excellent way to keep everyone informed and engaged is to send out a regular managed HOA newsletter to your residents, whether by mail or email. It’s something board members shouldn’t overlook since it’s critical for the community’s growth.
However, including specific details will help ensure it serves as an informative communication tool. The tone and content should remain positive at all times, and it’s also wise to include any essential phone numbers for valuable services.
HOA Board Meeting Agenda Template
The HOA Board Meeting Agenda Template is one of the most important documents you will receive as an HOA board member. It outlines all items up for discussion, including upcoming voting sessions at the next HOA meeting.
The template enables transparency, which leads to trust between homeowners and their HOA boards. Success starts with open communication by providing information about upcoming topics on the agenda in advance, along with guidelines for conducting those meetings, for example:
- How arguments are presented
- What time each topic begins/ends
- Whether votes must take place before or after comments from neighbors
A well-written HOA Board Meeting Agenda provides your community members peace of mind knowing they can prepare themselves ahead of time. The new HOA board members can also use the HOA Board Meeting Agenda to ensure they have all the needed information before reaching a decision.
HOA Annual Board Organization Checklist
HOA boards include members who volunteer their time and skills to help keep the HOA running smoothly. HOA membership is an excellent opportunity to collaborate with people with various professional backgrounds.
In addition to being passionate about living in your neighborhood, HOAs need board members who have specific skill sets— as well as an interest or experience working within a particular field (i.e., finance, law).
Many HOAs also require that each member has been a resident of the community for at least six months or more before serving on the Board, so first-timers may want to wait until they’ve settled into their new home before applying.
Importance of Having a Managed HOA
If you were recently appointed to your HOA board, there is typically a transition period for getting familiar with the way things are run in your community. Ask the board if they have any HOA checklists that you can review before your first meeting as a board member.
Contact us today if you have any questions or want information on how a managed HOA Company, such as HOW 2 HOA, can help you transition more easily! We have solutions that can save you both time and money when managing a community.