There are many ways to volunteer your talents and services in your Utah community. While volunteerism doesn’t generate income, it can be a rewarding experience that helps you bond with neighbors, business owners and others in your area. One way to serve your community is to become a board member in your Homeowners Association (HOA).
You’ll fulfill many duties as an HOA board member. At times, such duties will necessitate conflict resolution skills. Any number of issues (or complaints) may arise that you must address through discussion and negotiation. For example, someone might file a complaint regarding a rise in rental fees, claiming that it breaches an existing contract. Knowing how to handle such situations, as well as where to seek additional support, as needed, is the key to minimizing liability and diffusing contention.
HOA management is a people-based business
You can’t execute HOA governance without interacting with other board members, as well as homeowners. You also have no control over another person’s actions; however, you can control your response to a particular situation. Knowing when to handle an issue on your own versus when to seek legal support is a key factor to keeping an HOA running smoothly.
Every community has its own bylaws and policies. If you’re serving as an HOA board member, you’ll want to gain as much knowledge as possible regarding the laws and norms that are relevant to a specific set of circumstances. It’s easier to move forward with decisions when all board members are well-versed in the HOA rules that govern their community.
Common complaints that HOA board members encounter
During your time as an HOA board member, you might encounter numerous cases where one or more homeowners have filed a complaint regarding an issue shown in the following list:
- Private nuisance
- Overflowing trash cans
- Unkempt home exteriors
- Offensive signage or flags
- Illegal activity
In certain situations, you may be tasked with sending a notice to a homeowner, instructing them to cease and desist from behavior that violates HOA policies or regulations. Such issues can easily escalate into a full-blown legal problem.
Support for HOA issues the Board cannot handle alone
There may be cases where problems arise that your HOA team is unable to resolve without additional support. Perhaps you might have to call in local law enforcement officers to investigate a theft or vandalization of someone’s property. If a homeowner or group of homeowners threatens legal action against the HOA, you’ll want to seek guidance and support from an experienced adviser who is well-versed in Utah HOA governance issues.