Every HOA has a board of directors that is in charge of maintaining the community. However, community management often comes with a never-ending list of tasks and responsibilities, which can be overwhelming. To get things done, the association can call on its homeowners to volunteer and serve in HOA committees. Here’s what you need to know about HOA committees.
In this article:
What Are the Benefits of HOA Committees?
Committees are an essential part of HOA communities. Apart from supporting the HOA board, they can provide services that the community needs to succeed. Here are the benefits of having HOA communities.
1. HOA Committees Provide Valuable Assistance to the Board
HOA board members are not community management professionals. They are homeowners who volunteer to serve their community. As such, board members may not have the experience or expertise to manage the community. With work, family, and other personal obligations, HOA board members also don’t have enough time to take care of every aspect of the community.
By establishing HOA committees, board members can delegate some of the tasks and responsibilities to volunteer homeowners. HOA committees can take care of the more basic tasks while board members can focus on bigger HOA duties — such as preparing financial reports, taking care of HOA funds, and planning capital improvement projects. With HOA boards and committees working together, the community will be able to function properly and seamlessly.
2. HOA Committees Utilize the Skills and Talents of Homeowners
One of the benefits of HOA committees is the ability of the board to draw upon the skills and talents of homeowners. For instance, a person with landscaping expertise — who is not seeking a contract for their company — may be of tremendous help to the HOA landscape committee.
By seeking out homeowners with professional training or abilities, the HOA board can save money and time.
3. HOA Communities Help Foster Community Engagement
It’s important for residents to become involved in community matters. This enables residents to appreciate the importance of certain issues such as maintaining property values and resident safety. Since committee membership can change over time, many residents can participate in HOA communities. Joining HOA committees not only fosters community engagement, but it also helps the HOA board accomplish important community tasks.
4. HOA Communities Provide Training for Future Board Members
Not all homeowners will willingly step up to become a board member. It’s a tough job, after all. However, there are some members who will not step forward to serve unless they are asked to do so. Some members also fear that they may not know how to serve effectively.
With HOA committees, you will be able to see which homeowners have the potential to become future board members. Their participation in HOA committees can serve as training and this will prepare them to take on HOA board responsibilities in the future.
What Are the Different Types of HOA Committees?
There are many different types of HOA committees. However, a community doesn’t need to have all of them. It will depend on your community’s needs. Here is a list of HOA committee descriptions so you can see which ones are best suited for your community.
HOA Finance Committee
The HOA finance committee helps the board of directors when it comes to planning the annual budget, tracking monthly expenses, managing HOA reserves and investments, scheduling audits and reserve studies, and other financial management tasks.
HOA Social Committee
The HOA social committee is in charge of planning community events and making sure that homeowners have the opportunity to meet their neighbors. For instance, the committee can host a welcome party to introduce new homeowners to the neighborhood.
The community may also have fixed events such as the holiday party and summer festival.
HOA Communications Committee
The HOA communications committee ensures that residents are always informed when it comes to community news or updates. Committee members may be in charge of the community newsletters, email blasts, HOA website, and HOA social media accounts.
HOA Architectural Control Committee
The HOA architectural control committee is responsible for maintaining the community’s property values. Committee members will review design applications from homeowners and see whether they comply with the architectural guidelines stated in the governing documents. This prevents residents from installing elements that may lower the property values within the community.
HOA Landscape Committee
The HOA landscape committee monitors the properties of homeowners. Committee members help ensure that their landscapes are beautiful and well-maintained. The committee also makes sure that homeowners’ lawns and gardens comply with the landscaping rules in the governing documents. The committee can also take charge of reviewing bids from landscape vendors and selecting the best one for the community.
HOA Maintenance Committee
The HOA maintenance committee ensures that both the community’s properties and homeowners’ properties are well taken care of. Committee members can follow up on maintenance and repairs for shared assets. The committee can also help homeowners with finding the best vendor to take care of their homes.
HOA Covenants Committee
The HOA covenants committee assists the board in matters of rule compliance and violations enforcement. The committee monitors the community and enforces violations for homeowners who do not comply with the HOA’s rules and regulations.
HOA Safety Committee
The HOA safety committee helps improve the security of the community. Committee members can patrol the neighborhood to ensure that safety and security standards are being met. The safety committee may also have a neighborhood watch program to prevent crime and illegal activity in the community as well as keep residents safe.
HOA Special Committees
HOA special committees are formed to address short-term or specific issues. They are temporary and exist to serve the HOA board with a certain community matter. For example, the HOA may set up a special committee to oversee the new playground project. The committee will then disband following the completion of the project.
How to Set Up HOA Committees
HOA committees add so much to the welfare of any HOA. However, it’s important for HOAs to only create committees that are needed. Each committee must also have a purpose and structure. Here are important points to think about when setting up HOA committees.
1. Check HOA’s Governing Documents
Check your governing documents to see if there are HOA committee guidelines. Your governing documents may already have rules when it comes to the size of a committee, who is qualified to be a member of a committee, how to handle the removal of members, and so on. If so, the community must follow these guidelines when setting up HOA committees.
2. Create HOA Committee Charters
If there are no existing committee guidelines yet, the HOA board must create HOA committee charters. A charter is a document that clearly states the committee’s mission statement or purpose, budget, roles and responsibilities, decision-making abilities, and limits of authority. The committee charter may also have a timeframe, which details how long the committee will exist. You can use an HOA committee charter template and customize it for each committee that you are planning to set up.
3. Establish an Organizational Structure for Each HOA Committee
Just like the HOA board, each HOA committee should have an organizational structure. At the very least, there should be a committee chair who presides over committee meetings and handles the committee agenda.
There should also be a committee secretary who is in charge of taking and publishing the minutes of every meeting.
4. Create Clear Job Descriptions for Committee Members
The HOA board must create a clear job description for committee members. This ensures that committee members understand their duties and limitations. Job descriptions should be very detailed to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts between board members, committee members, and homeowners. For example, HOA landscape committee members should be clear on HOA landscape committee guidelines to be able to do their job properly.
HOA Committees and Your Community’s Success
Without a doubt, HOA committees can benefit your community tremendously. The HOA board can rely on homeowners to perform essential duties instead of having to spend for professional management services. However, for your community to be successful, HOA committees should be done right.
Committee members should know the guidelines and the scope of their authority. Otherwise, the HOA board might just create more harm than good. As long as you follow these HOA committee guidelines, though, you’ll be able to set up your community for success.
- What Is A Covenants Committee? What Does It Do Exactly?
- HOA Social Committee Ideas For Your Community
- Setting Up a Community Neighborhood Watch