We are often asked what are the key characteristics of effective homeowner association management. It really comes down to the combined efforts of the homeowner association and its Board of Directors and management company working together with the homeowners for the common good of the association.
Too often, interests of the individual homeowner are not aligned with those of the association and this is where conflict often arises. This is normal, the important thing is to have in place good governance in place to address when the inevitable arises. Understanding the role of the Association is paramount. It is also equally important that homeowners understand when their issue may not align with the association’s interest and the association has to take a different approach.
This is especially important for those homeowners who decide to run for the Board because of their issue. Serving on the Board requires a higher obligation to the community than oneself and that is sometimes lost on the “single issue” candidate.
There are essentially three operational areas of the association:
- Community Services – developing and fostering a sense of community;
- Governance – oversight and operation of the property and individual lots according to the requirements found in the Association’s governing documents (Articles of Incorporation, Declaration, or Bylaws) and related statutes, if any; and,
- Business Operations – handling the financial, maintenance, and insurance obligations of the association
We are proud members of Community Associations Institute (CAI), and they are an outstanding resource for homeowner associations and property management companies. They have put together a great one-page document which outlines in greater detail the role of the homeowner association and its board and management. This document is available to download here.
Included in that download is another document from CAI entitled “From Good to Great – Principles for Community Association Success.” This document does an excellent job of explaining homeowner association governance but also goes greater into depth on the rights and responsibilities of homeowners and the association, which also serves as reminder to everyone that homeowner association living is a two-way street.