José R. Hernández
Big Differences Between HOA Board Members and Community Managers
Homeowners Association (HOA) Board members are often confused with Community Managers. While both play an essential role in the association, they have different duties and responsibilities.
HOA Board Members
HOA Board Members are responsible for the governance of their community. The community's homeowners elect them, and they serve staggered terms. The Board is responsible for enforcing the HOA's governing documents, establishing and maintaining policies and rules, and overseeing the HOA's budget. Board Members typically meet every month. Some HOAs also have committees that Board Members can serve on. HOA Board Members play an essential role in ensuring that their community runs smoothly and efficiently.
An HOA Community Manager is a professional hired by a Homeowners Association (HOA) to oversee the community's day-to-day operations. The manager is responsible for ensuring that the HOA's rules and regulations are followed and that the property is well-maintained. In addition, the manager may also be responsible for organizing community events, handling customer service inquiries, and preparing reports for the HOA Board of Directors. An HOA Community Manager plays a vital role in ensuring that the community runs smoothly and efficiently.
Position – Elected vs. Hired
The homeowners typically elect Homeowners Association (HOA) Board members in the community. Once elected, the board members serve set terms and are responsible for making decisions that help run the association. Among their duties, you will find hiring a community manager, setting the budget, and creating and enforcing rules and regulations. On the other hand, community managers are employed by the HOA Board to handle day-to-day operations. Their tasks include collecting dues, maintaining common areas, and handling resident concerns.
Rules – Creation vs. Enforcement
One of the primary responsibilities of an HOA Board Member is to establish the rules that will govern the community. These rules cover various topics, from noise levels and pet ownership to landscaping and parking. Establishing these rules is not always easy, as the Board must strike a balance between the community's needs and the individual rights of residents. Once the rules have been established, it is the job of the community manager to enforce them. Enforcement can be a difficult task, as managers must often deal with upset residents who feel that they are being unfairly targeted. However, it is essential to remember that the manager is only doing their job in ensuring that the community abides by the rules set forth by the Board Members. If you disagree with a particular rule the Community Manager is enforcing, your best bet at changing it is to assist a community meeting and make your feelings known to the Board members.
Responsibilities – Long-term vs. Day-to-day
The primary responsibility of HOA board members is to focus on the community's long-term well-being. Focal points include setting policy, approving budgets, and ensuring that the property is well-maintained by the Community Manager. In contrast, the Community Manager's responsibilities are focused on day-to-day operations. Their duties include enforcing rules, handling maintenance requests, and coordinating with service providers. While both roles are important, they require different skills and knowledge. As a result, board members and community managers must work closely to ensure the community runs smoothly.
While both Board Members and Community Managers play a vital role in maintaining a well-run HOA, it's important to understand the difference between their respective duties and responsibilities if you want to change how they run the community.