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Subject: Officer positions
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Author Messages
BarbaraD11
(Washington)

Posts:5


05/13/2020 12:40 PM  
We have a small 18 unit association of retired residents.. Residents are willing to be on the board but No one wants to be an officer. How do we handle this?
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:495


05/13/2020 12:45 PM  
What is/are the objections?

We have had this conversation with potential client candidates. The reasons range from potential financial liability (largely addressed by D&O coverage), to not wanting to be responsible for making decisions, to a complete misunderstanding of roles and responsibilities.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9306


05/13/2020 3:22 PM  
It's only like 3 to maybe 4 positions. It's the board whom votes amongst themselves who will get which position. The general members just vote who to be on the board.

The HOA should have D&O insurance on their board members. Which should protect them from personal lawsuits. It's one of the "benefits" of being a board member/officer.

So alleviate some fears people may have. What is holding them back from 3 positions and work through it.

Former HOA President
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:953


05/13/2020 3:27 PM  
What do they think board members do, if not the duties of the officers?

Some large communities have At Large Directors who do not have specific duties. However, even these directors have work to do. They need to learn about and understand the workings of the HOA so that they can make informed decisions. They need to understand the financials and review the monthly reports. They don't just attend the occasional meeting, shoot the breeze, and go home.

But a small HOA won't have at large directors unless their bylaws are really weird. You need 3 board members to have a functioning board, any more than that is too many in an 18-home community.

In addition, it's very unlikely that such a small community can justify the expense of a property manager (except for maybe a bookkeeper). Guess who performs the functions of the property manager?

When I was on the board, I regularly spent 10-30 hours per month on board work, and we had a full-service property manager. It would have been much more than that if our board members had to perform all of the work that is currently done by our PM.

I think you need to have a Come to Jesus meeting with the membership where you lay it on the line. They don't just own homes. The large majority of HOAs are incorporated, which means that the homeowners are also members/"co-owners" of a non-profit corporation. These corporations don't run themselves, and they are a lot of work. Somebody has to do that work. Either the homeowners do it themselves, or they pay to hire people to do it for them. Or they simply ignore their responsibilities, and they get some painful surprises in the future. (I truly hate the typical HOA or condo marketing hype about Carefree!!! Maintenance Free!! Living!! People buy into these communities thinking that everything is somebody else's responsibility.)

BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:707


05/13/2020 5:43 PM  
You could try asking for short term commitments or agree to rotate the positions. It's not ideal but you have to come up with something to make the positions more attractive.
SueW6
(Michigan)

Posts:693


05/13/2020 6:36 PM  
Most times it’s fear of leading a meeting, fear of signing a check or legal paperwork, or fear that residents will come banging on their door at all hours.

Keep looking for board members who recognize the legal necessity of having officers.
BarbaraD11
(Washington)

Posts:5


05/13/2020 6:51 PM  
The residents are retired. Most over the age of 65 and basically don’t want to be bothered with having to handle association business. They like to put in their two cents, but when it comes to actually having to the work, they are not interested. I also forgot to mention, we do not have a property management company and all the responsibility rests on the board.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9306


05/13/2020 6:54 PM  
Sounds like you all could raise the dues to afford a Management company or maybe just an accounting firm. We just had an accounting firm in our HOA. Our board made the decisions and had the accountant cut/collect the checks.

So don't overthink this. Can still have a self run board and everyone agrees to pay for the "help" understanding the "help" is not in control of the HOA nor member.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16778


05/14/2020 1:03 AM  
Barbara,

Regardless if you hire a property manager or management company, the Association is still required to have officers (as the Officers are accountable to the board for the day to day tasks - this is likely spelled out in your governing documents). A PM/MC can help remove some of the day to day tasks but they don't eliminate the responsibility or the need for someone to serve in an officer position.

Bottom line is, how much are the members willing to pay?

You could hire people to serve as officers, can cost a lot.

You could go to the courts and request receivership, NOT A GOOD IDEA, but that removes any member input and will cost the members dearly monetarily. A receiver is answerable only to the court. Courts also don't like being involved in this simply because nobody is willing to step forward.


My suggestion, the current board should explore the costs involved in all options.
Present this information to the members and have them vote on what direction to go.
Make sure the board explains the need to increase assessments to pay people to do these things and the fact that someone needs to continue to serve on the board and in officer positions.


Hope this helps,

Tim

GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2681


05/14/2020 6:20 AM  
Must have officers for corporate status.

Imagine in 10 years.

Not many options.

Probably would recommend a property manager with accounting services ... then the directors could gripe, some pretend they are officers, but in the end allow the pm to manage. Not unlike the usual apathetic association of even a younger demographic.

More expensive, sure.
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