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There's a lot that an HOA must ensure runs smoothly for the good of the association at large. Thankfully, there's a board that is elected to do this. Different members will have different roles that all come together to achieve the kind of environment that made owners want to become a part of the HOA in the first place.

HOA board member responsibilities can be pretty wide-reaching, and it's essential to make sure that each position is filled with someone who is up to the task. Today, the focus is on the duties of an HOA president.

Functions of the Board of Directors

Before looking at the president, let's take a moment to look at the roles and responsibilities that the board members are expected to deliver on collectively.

Common Area Maintenance and Upgrades

The HOA will usually have shared areas that are meant to be attractive and rewarding to those who are a part of the association. Examples include gyms, pools, and tennis courts. While there may not be maintenance responsibilities within individual property lines, the members of the board are expected to ensure that these places are in good working order consistently and upgraded when needed.

Community Finance Management

Finance is a huge part of a homeowners association. It's the driving force behind a lot that needs to be done effectively. It stands to reason then that the board is expected to be on top of the finances, which includes duties such as collecting assessments, setting the annual budget, keeping financial records, etc.

Setting and Enforcement of Community Rules and Regulations

Some would say that the role of the HOA board is to set and enforce rules. While this isn't all the board does, it is a primary responsibility. The guidelines must be designed in the best interests of the community and enforcement must be practical and consistent.

Dispute Resolution

Residents within the association can have disputes and the board may be called in for resolution. The intention here is to provide a form of mediation and ensure that the final decision is in the best interest of everyone involved as much as possible.

Planning and Hosting Community Events

While this is not a requirement, if HOA board members want to create a thriving community, it will often come with event planning and hosting.

Hiring and Management of Community Staff

While this may not be the case in every HOA, it's pretty common for the board of directors to hire and manage community staff. Such persons can include lifestyle staff, maintenance personnel, security officers, etc.

The board is expected to ensure that the terms and conditions of such engagements are clearly outlined and that performance is monitored and evaluated throughout the tenure of employment.

Who Does the HOA Board President Report to?

Now, we resume our focus on the member of the board with the greatest leadership responsibility. This will beg the question of who the president reports to, and this will usually be covered in the governing documents of the association.

Technically speaking, the president is akin to a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in a for-profit company. In this case, though, there isn't a board above the post as this is the board. However, the president must be accountable for everything that happens within the HOA.

Anyone in the community association can question the president and if the person holding the post is a good candidate, answers will usually be provided as expected. Note that while the board can face lawsuits from disgruntled members, the president and other board members can individually face them too.

What Do the Duties and Responsibilities of the President Look Like?

Financial Oversight

Financials are typically associated with the treasurer, and while that is how the direct line of responsibility works, the president is expected to oversee this financial duty. A treasurer isn't expected to make decisions on financial interests independently, and will instead work with the president for approvals, budget creation, etc.

Leading HOA Meetings

HOA board meetings are crucial to provide updates on what is happening and to discuss essential matters that decisions need to be made for. The HOA president is expected to preside over these meetings, ensuring that they run smoothly and that there are no hiccups to speak of.

This responsibility does not only apply to the big annual meeting, but also to standard board meetings. With the assistance of the secretary, the president will prepare meeting agendas and ensure that considerations are made for requests that come in from community members. Collaboration with the secretary continues in sending out the meeting notices as the governing documents outline.

Document Signing

While HOAs are non-profit organizations, they are incorporated like their for-profit counterparts. Remember the likening of the board president to a CEO? This applies here as the signature of the president will be required on a lot of important documents. For example, while the treasurer will be required to produce checks, it is the president who will need to sign them.

The signing responsibilities also extend to contracts and just about all legal documents. While good faith isn't a bad thing in some areas, presidents are advised to properly read documents before signing them just to avoid certain legal or financial trouble.

Being the Bridge

The president is expected to be a bridge in certain situations. For example, it's not uncommon to hire an HOA management company to handle certain day-to-day affairs of the association. Board members aren't typically paid, which means they need the capacity to manage their lives outside, after all.

These companies will typically communicate with the president who plays the role of liaison between the board and the company.

What Are the Qualities of a Good HOA President?

Team Player

When people hear the word "president," it's easy to assume that this is just someone who will make all the decisions as the leader and everyone else will simply need to fall in line. However, this is a team effort in every sense of the word.

Consider the fact that the HOA board vice president is expected to act as the president when the actual president is unavailable or has stepped down. How would this happen if the said vice president wasn't working closely with the president to understand the happenings of the association?

The president is expected to lean on the team and make decisions as a unit through discussion and collaboration.

Managing Criticism

This is a leadership position after all and criticism can come from anyone. It could be from other board members or the community as a whole. A president needs to be able to work well despite criticism. Additionally, such a person needs to understand the difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism, ensuring that the right approach is taken to either.

Remember that this position involves dealing with people who may only remember the president when something isn't going well. Therefore, those harsh and confrontational personalities are expected to come out.

High Integrity

Being a point of contact, the person who signs important documents, and the person who makes so many key decisions comes with a lot of trust from the rest of the board and the community as a whole. It stands to reason then that an HOA president needs to be someone with exemplary character and who will not abuse the powers granted.

Excellent Communication Skills

HOA communication is one of the pain points in many cases. When done well, it can lead to a successful venture, but doing it well is often easier said than done. A president needs to ensure that a lot gets done and knowing how to navigate discussions is a big part of the job.

Great Leadership Style

The president of the HOA is not the be-all and end-all, and whoever has the position needs to be acutely aware of this and act as such.

An HOA has a series of board members and possibly committees for a reason. These are expected to be competent people who are fully capable of handling the duties that they are given. Therefore, the president needs to become comfortable letting them do their jobs without micromanaging the operation.

Of course, there's the expectation to take appropriate action when the said jobs aren't being done as expected, but even this should be handled properly.

HOA Management Software Is an Excellent Investment

One of the discussions that may come up is ways to make the management of the HOA smoother. One great option to consider is DoorLoop's HOA management software, which comes complete with:

  1. A free per-property or community website that includes a tenant portal
  2. Full accounting features with AR/AP reports
  3. Automated payments of rent, dues, amenities, maintenance, and more
  4. QuickBooks and bank account sync
  5. Unlimited management users
  6. ARC and maintenance request handling
  7. Text, email, phone, and portal message communications

The Bottom Line

The president is the leader of the HOA, which means being accountable for just about everything. Thankfully, there is a team of directors that are there to share in the running of the organization and the president must use the different talents of the board well.

Don't forget to schedule your free demo of our HOA management software solution today!

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David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!

Legal Disclaimer

The information on this website is from public sources, for informational purposes only and not intended for legal or accounting advice. DoorLoop does not guarantee its accuracy and is not liable for any damages or inaccuracies.

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