Every homeowner's association (HOA) board has to deal with delinquent dues. For board members to handle such issues, they must establish policies explaining what happens when residents fail to pay their dues on time. Here's a look at some HOA board meeting best practices.
Define Delinquent Dues
One of the most important HOA board meeting best practices is to avoid confusion regarding how dues are paid. Board members must not allow such basic questions to linger. They should decide on due dates and what happens when a homeowner doesn't pay on time. This will be different for each HOA regarding how they define "delinquent." For some HOAs, it may be as early as three months.
Establishing a written policy is crucial when it comes to delinquency. An attorney should examine the policy and explain the steps to be taken in case of late payment. It should be made available to all residents, with no special treatment given to certain residents. While the policy should be clear on fines for late payments, it should also be flexible enough to accommodate payment plans.
Invest in a Digital Payment System
One of the best ways to get people to pay on time is to encourage them to pay online. Make the payment process simple and not more than five steps. An HOA can either invest in its own online software that makes automatic monthly payments or outsource to a dues collection company that uses a solution for people to pay online.
Boost Board Morale
An HOA board acts as a team for a community of residents. When board members lose touch with team spirit, it can reduce the association's productivity and communication ability. As conflicts go unresolved, the quality of service may drop. When board members start resigning, it can lead to high turnover. If homeowners aren't happy with the HOA service, they may choose to move.
Here are some of the best ways to boost board morale:
- Encourage virtual meetings
- Make collaboration simple
- Allow for an open dialogue
- Create teams for positive community projects
- Ensure internal conflicts are resolved
- Use team-building strategies such as incentives
- Recognize individual achievements among board members
Plan for Time-efficient Meetings
HOA board meetings should be limited to sixty minutes or less. Every minute should count for board members, who tend to be volunteers. The goal is to ensure a smooth meeting where useful information is exchanged. Another advantage to short meetings is that members will likely pay close attention.
Aside from keeping the meeting concise and getting all board members to attend, there should be a well-planned agenda. The focus should be on broad issues rather than micro-management to make ethical and reasonable decisions, and time allotments should be planned for each agenda topic. The meeting should allow homeowners to speak before moving on to the official board agenda.
Implementing some of these HOA board meeting best practices may involve creating a team atmosphere that makes board meetings a positive experience. Keeping conversations on each topic to a minimum is essential, so the meetings finish on time.
In closing, safety deck systems should be one of your top concerns if your HOA has a community pool, as deferred or improper maintenance could result in injuries leading to a potential lawsuit.