Clear and open communication between a condo or HOA board and its manager keeps a community running like a well-oiled machine, with roles defined and followed.
Strains in that relationship can cause breakdowns in the machine, and spell conflict for the community as a whole. Understanding how to keep the relationship between managers and their boards problem free is crucial to any community that aims to be efficient and productive. Experts agree that the main way to avoid conflict is for the board of directors and the property or community management professional to each know their role.
The Board's the Thing
HOA governing documents and the statute [718 for condos and 720 for HOAs in Florida] require that the community is run by the directors,” says Sue Carpenter, CEO of Associa Community Management Professionals Inc. in Orlando. The board’s primary role then is as the community’s decision-making entity.
That includes numerous tasks for the board, including enforcing community documents, rules and penalties; establishing sound fiscal policies and accurate records; developing a workable budget and establishing reserve funds; authorizing legal action against owners who do not comply with the rules; reviewing local laws before passing rules or sending bylaws to membership for approval; appointing committees; selecting an attorney, an auditor, insurance agent and other professionals; providing adequate insurance coverage; keeping board members informed, and attending and participating in community meetings.
“The members of the board of directors have a fiduciary relationship with the members of the association,” says Christy Borden, a manager with Leland Management, Inc. in Orlando. This fiduciary relationship imposes obligations of trust and confidence, and requires the members of the board to act in good faith and in the best interests of the members of the association, she adds.