One of the biggest reasons why residents prefer homes in an association is because homeowners’ associations are proven to stabilize home values and prevent domino foreclosures. Having well-kept common areas as well as strict home appearance rules means that property values will be more consistent.
The primary purpose of an association is to maintain and improve property values in the neighborhood.
1. Management of The Property
The structure of your association and your governing documents will dictate what property is managed by an owner and what is managed by the association. In most associations, the association is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the common elements within the community. This could be the landscaping of the grounds, community amenities like a pool or playground, ponds and lakes, and sometimes the exteriors of the buildings themselves. (Check your documents to see what your association covers in your community.)
2. Fiduciary Responsibility
In the US, the board of directors of any corporation is recognized to be serving in a position of trust. So, corporate law dictates that every board of directors has a fiduciary responsibility. In other words, the board and its members are required to serve in the best interest of the corporation. It doesn’t matter if associations are nonprofit corporations or if the members are volunteers. Even more, they must always act in the best interest of the development, and if they don’t, there can be financial and other consequences.
There are three components to fiduciary responsibility:
Duty of Care
The Duty of Loyalty
The Duty to Act Within the Scope of Authority
We’ll explain each of these in more detail below.
3. Duty of Care
The duty of care involves making informed decisions. Before making any decisions, board members need to make sure they’re fully informed of rules, regulations, and any other relevant data. They must also be sure to act in a cautious and reasonable manner.
4. The Duty of Loyalty
This refers to the fact that board members cannot act in their own interest. They should also not act where there’s a conflict of interest. Furthermore, it obligates board members to act in a fair manner and always in the interest of the association.
5. The Duty to Act Within the Scope of Authority
Another association responsibility says that association board members cannot make decisions or act in a way that goes beyond their own authority. While they are required to perform certain functions and duties, they cannot act on matters that they don’t have the power to act on.
7. Financial Responsibility
Part of the association’s many responsibilities is budgeting, collection, and accounting. You must keep track of your association’s financials, using the association’s accounting standards that have been set up. This includes accurate bookkeeping and generating reports. The board then analyzes the association’s financial standing based on these reports.
8. Uniform Enforcement of Rules
The duties and responsibilities of an association also include the uniform enforcement of rules. No resident must be exempt from following the stipulations written in the governing documents. Just because a violator is a friend of yours doesn’t mean you can let them talk their way out of a fine. When it comes to rules, put your personal feelings aside. The board must apply rules equally and without fail.
Rules exist to maintain order and protect the community. Of course, some rules can be vague, giving rise to misunderstandings. For this reason, board members must have a clear and unvarying consistent knowledge of the rules.
9. Give People The Right to Sit on The Board
Any property owner in the community has the right to run for a spot on the board of directors. Although, they can’t be prohibited from doing so. Of course, they need to meet qualifications that are laid out in the governing documents in the community.