RealManage Insight

Creating Committees to Enhance Your HOA Community

by Staff Writer on Apr 4, 2017 4:10:00 PM

Homeowners' associations (HOAs) play a big part in many residential communities. All the property owners in a neighborhood become HOA members if they are in managed communities. Boards of Directors head these associations of which they make critical decisions. The Board is typically composed of volunteerswho are also members of the association. These community leaders take on tremendous responsibilities, especially in large neighborhoods. Many HOA boards wisely delegate some of the work to advisory hoa committees. Here is information on the important aspects of these subgroups.

Reasons: Aside from relieving board members of some of the labor involved in managing the neighborhood, committees provide other benefits. These groups give the board extra eyes and ears into the inner workings of the community. By focusing on specific areas, committees gain an in-depth knowledge of particular aspects, so issues are better addressed. Having committees also gives more people the opportunity for intimate involvement in the functioning of their community. These persons often bring new ideas to what might have become stagnant proceedings. Bonds increase between neighbors as committees bring them together to work for important things.

Types: Many committees address ongoing issues while others come into being for a short time to manage temporary situations. Examples of permanent groups are landscape, financial, maintenance, safety, welcome and social enterprises. For smaller neighborhoods, some of these groups combine such as landscape and maintenance or welcome and social committees. While these are perhaps the most common types of groups, boards can form other ones as well to deal with specific features of their particular associations such as swimming pools and clubhouses. An example of a short-term committee could be one that deals with a large neighborhood improvement project such as the construction of a playground.

Structure: The Board of Directors determines the set-up of committees. Board members should refer to their governing documents as these might have regulations in place for committee formation. In general, the board will have much leeway in determining the size and scope of subgroups. The directors can appoint individuals as chairpersons of each group and decide whether other offices, such as that of the secretary, are necessary. A key aspect the board should carefully consider is the budgets for various groups and how to handle these funds.

Functioning: To be effective, hoa committees should meet frequently, delegate tasks, discuss key issues and prepare reports for presentation to the board of directors. Chairpersons take responsibility for organizing meetings in which committees come together to explore issues and make recommendations. Committees should consult with the board of directors before taking specific actions within the community as they serve as advisors and, most often, do not have the power to act without board approval. These groups should also consult the board before adding members or expanding the scope of their initiative.

Recruitment: There are a variety of ways an HOA board can find neighbors who are capable and interested in serving their community. Some individuals needed for committees might have previously sat on the board of directors. These individuals possess experience in community management and are often ready to serve again in a role that does not require as much responsibility. Another method to find committee leaders and members is to recruit them from community meetings and other neighborhood events. Their attendance at these functions indicates the desire for engagement, so these people often make good choices to serve on committees. Also, look to find interested parties by announcing the need for committee members on neighborhood social media and email groups.

Homeowners invest greatly in the beauty, health and overall management of their residences. Their associations thrive when handled by an adept board of directors. Adding specialized committees give neighborhoods greater clarity and cohesion resulting in a benefit for all.

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