Being a volunteer member of a community association board of directors can be a difficult job. You need the wisdom of Solomon, the patience of a saint and great people skills to be the caretaker of peoples’ most precious possession. When homeowners, non-owner residents and association leaders embrace their rights and responsibilities, the community prospers.
Community leaders have the right to:
1. Expect owners and non-owner residents to meet their financial obligations to the community.
2. Expect residents to know and comply with the rules and regulations of the community and to stay informed by reading materials provided by the association.
3. Respectful and honest treatment from residents.
4. Conduct meetings in a positive and constructive atmosphere.
5. Receive support and constructive input from owners and non-owner residents.
6. Personal privacy at home and during leisure time in the community.
7. Take advantage of educational opportunities (e.g., publications, training workshops) that are directly related to their responsibilities and as approved by the association.
Community leaders have the responsibility to:
1. Fulfill their fiduciary duties to the community and exercise discretion in a manner they reasonably believe to be in the best interests of the community.
2. Exercise sound business judgment and follow established management practices.
3. Balance the needs and obligations of the community as a whole with those of individual homeowners and residents.
4. Understand the association’s governing documents, become educated with respect to applicable state and local laws and manage the community association accordingly.
5. Establish committees or use other methods to obtain input from owners and non-owner residents.
6. Conduct open, fair and well-publicized elections.
7. Welcome and educate new members of the community—owners and non-owner residents alike.
8. Encourage input from residents on issues affecting them personally and the community as a whole.
9. Encourage events that foster neighborliness and a sense of community.
10. Conduct business in a transparent manner when feasible and appropriate.
11. Allow homeowners access to appropriate community records when requested.
12. Collect all monies due from owners and non-owner residents.
13. Devise appropriate and reasonable arrangements, when needed and as feasible, to facilitate the ability of individual homeowners to meet their financial obligations to the community.
14. Provide a process residents can use to appeal decisions affecting their non-routine financial responsibilities or property rights—where permitted by law and the association’s governing documents.
15. Initiate foreclosure proceedings only as a measure of last resort.
16. Make covenants, conditions and restrictions as understandable as possible, adding clarifying “lay” language or supplementary materials when drafting or revising the documents.
17. Provide complete and timely disclosure of personal and financial conflicts of interest related to the actions of community leaders, e.g., officers, the board and committees. (Community associations may want to develop a code of ethics.)
Did you know that homeowners also have a set of rights and responsibilities? Homeowner Rights and Responsibilities
Article courtesy of Community Associations Institute.