Like anyone new to a job or board position, HOA board members who have never served may make some avoidable mistakes. But while simple mistakes can happen, they can turn into complex problems for the boards they serve.
Apart from learning the Responsibilities of an HOA, new members who mean well can end up making mistakes that lead to increased liabilities and even lawsuits against an HOA. To keep those issues at bay, we’ve rounded up a list of common mistakes from new HOA members and how to avoid them.
Doing More Than Permitted
If something is not in the governing documents, HOA board members, no matter if they’re new or seasoned, cannot do it. Sometimes, new board members may try to perform actions that run outside the board’s authority. They may be very enthusiastic, and the actions may come from a good place, but if it’s not covered in the governing documents, then they should be avoided.
Changing an HOA’s Character
While new members may carry a high level of enthusiasm, as noted above, wanting to come in with big ideas and hopes of upsetting the apple cart, as it were, may go too far. While having fresh ideas and a new perspective on how to carry out an HOA’s duties should be encouraged, it should be handled with caution so that community members don’t see too much disruption in their daily lives. By bringing too much change too fast, a community may find it necessary to take legal action against the HOA.
Not Understanding Previous Policies
No matter what new position someone walks into, it’s important that they have a general understanding of why certain policies and guidelines are and have been in place. New board members may jump into their role without understanding why previous boards have implemented past policies. New board members may want to change things without realizing there were certain reasons why that practical process was put in place. It’s important that new members have a working knowledge of the background on a particular policy and the reasons for it.
When a new board is looking to make some changes from a previous board, they may be hasty to swap out vendors. From landscapers to CPA’s to managing agents, a new board may want to start from scratch. This should be avoided, and instead new board members should review their current vendors and agree on a way forward together. Taking a gamble on a new CPA or landscaping company who may offer cheaper services may not result in quality work.
About Kevin Davis Insurance Services
For over 35 years, Kevin Davis Insurance Services has built an impressive reputation as a strong wholesale broker offering insurance products for the community association industry. Our president Kevin Davis and his team take pride in offering committed services to the community association market and providing them with unparalleled access to high-quality coverage, competitive premiums, superior markets, and detailed customer service. To learn more about the coverage we offer, contact us toll-free at (855)-790-7393 to speak with one of our representatives.