Everyone who buys a home in a condominium building or development automatically becomes a member of the community's homeowners association. The HOA elects a volunteer board of directors from among the association members to conduct the activities of the association. Any HOA member in good standing is free to run for a position on the board.
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Powers and Duties
The condo development is governed by a master deed and bylaws that establish the rules and regulations -- called covenants, conditions and restrictions -- that govern unit owners' use of the property. The HOA board of directors is responsible for enforcing those provisions. HOA duties include preparing budgets, hiring and dealing with management companies, establishing and collecting maintenance fees and enforcing the rules.
Reasons to Run
If you're thinking about running for a board seat, you should attend your HOA board meetings and read the minutes of past ones. This helps you learn about the issues facing the organization and the concerns of fellow community residents. Go over several years worth of financial statements to learn about past major expenditures and if any are planned for the future. Carry out your own inspection of the building or development to look for signs of neglect.
Ask the current board president what, if any, vacancies are coming up and how many positions will need to be filled. The master deed and bylaws should spell out necessary eligibility to run for a board position as well as regulations and deadlines for adding your name to the ballot and for campaigning. In some cases, a board candidate must be paid up on all maintenance fees and other debts. Elections are often held at the annual budget meeting, and candidates' resumes are attached to the notice of the meeting sent out to unit owners.
Submit a Resume
Your resume should include information specifically related to the needs of the association. Qualities considered valuable in a job search resume aren't necessarily appropriate for an HOA board seat. Tailor your experience to highlight financial, real estate, accounting, architecture, management or other pertinent expertise.
Include the length of time you've lived in the development as well as your willingness to commit the time necessary to serve on the board. Without being overly critical, address the problems you see in the development and explain how you plan to deal with them if you are elected.
Reach Out to Voters
Ask the board for a list of all the unit owners and their mailing addresses. Send a letter to the owners asking for their support and outlining your plans if elected. Check the bylaws to be sure your promises don't exceed the limits of what a board member is permitted to do. Include your phone number and email address, and invite owners to contact you with their concerns. If you're permitted to speak at the election meeting, keep your remarks short, upbeat and positive.