Governance Guidelines for Board Members

There are basic expectations that apply to virtually any condominium or homeowners association. Listed below are 12 principles that can help association Board members increase harmony, reduce conflict and build stronger, more successful communities:

  1. ANNUAL MEETINGS. Conduct an annual meeting each year providing at least 10 days notice to homeowners.
  2. ASSESSMENTS. Collect assessments and other fees from homeowners in a timely and equitable manner and in accordance with state statutes and Board approved procedures.
  3. COMMUNICATION. Provide at least one form of regular communication with residents, and use it to report substantive actions taken by the Board.
  4. CONFLICTS OF INTEREST. Disclose any financial conflict of interest before assuming a Board position.
  5. ELECTIONS. Hold fair and open elections in strict conformance with governing documents, giving all candidates an equal opportunity to express their views.
  6. FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY. Share critical information and rationale with residents about budgets, reserve funding, special assessments and other issues that could impact their financial obligations to the Association. Give Members an opportunity – before final decisions are made – to ask questions of a representative who is fully familiar with these financial issues.
  7. FORECLOSURE. Initiate lien and foreclosure proceedings only as a last step in a well defined debt collection procedure – and only after other, less disruptive measures have failed to resolve a serious delinquency issue.
  8. GOVERNANCE AND THE LAW. Govern and manage the community in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. Review governing documents to ensure legal compliance and determine if amendments are needed.
  9. GRIEVANCES AND APPEALS. Allow residents to bring grievances before the Board or a Board appointed committee, and follow well-publicized procedures that give residents the opportunity to correct violations before imposing fines or other sanctions.
  10. RECORDS. Allow homeowners reasonable access to appropriate community records, including annual budgets and Board meeting minutes.
  11. RESERVE FUNDING. Account for anticipated long-term expenditures as part of the annual budget development process, commissioning a reserve study when professional expertise is warranted.
  12. RULES. Enforce all rules including architectural guidelines, uniformly, but only after seeking compliance on a voluntary basis. Distribute proposals for new rules and guidelines to all homeowners and non-owner residents. Advise them when the Board will consider new rules and encourage input. Once adopted, new rules and effective dates be distributed to every owner and resident.