Committees are an important part of an effectively functional HOA. Forming committees using volunteer members within the community will help make things run even more smoothly, working side-by-side with the HOA board.
By following the community association bylaws, board members are able to structure committees that specifically meet the needs of your particular community.
In addition, committees are a great way to get several members of your community involved. Identifying important issues and working to create solutions is just one of the main responsibilities of the committee. The HOA board reviews the solutions and either gives their seal of approval or offers feedback to generate another option. Then, working hand-in-hand with HOA management, the board is able to oversee the completion of various projects.
So, as you can see, community committees play an important role in a homeowners’ association. As a board member, it’s your responsibility to understand how that works. We’ve outlined keys to help you better understand how to create, operate, and manage HOA committees within your community:
Create the Committee
First and foremost, HOA board members must create an annual budget. As board members, you can determine a budget for each specific committee which then becomes the committee’s responsibility to use for various operations.
In order to ensure the allocated money is used properly, board members should clearly outline expectations and committee roles. Gathering information, suggesting solutions to various ongoing problems, dealing with homeowner concerns and requests, and making policy recommendations are some of the important duties of HOA committees.
Working with committee members can help to inspire individual residents and provide an opportunity for them to use their talents for the good of their community. It also helps foster strong working relationships with individuals in the community and provides a great training opportunity for potential board members!
Types of Committees
Based on the particular needs of an association, the various types of committees can be customized to suit each community.
Here are some examples of committees that might work for your HOA:
- Communications Committee: This committee is often involved in producing an association newsletter to keep community members up-to-date on news, events, and important details.
- Social Committee: Organizing holiday gatherings, game nights, outdoor events, and community garage sales are a great way to unite communities, and the social committee helps foster those relationships through various social events.
- Safety Committee: Developing a relationship with local law enforcement and introducing a neighborhood watch program will be the primary duties of a safety committee. It’s important to note that a safety committee cannot ensure security; therefore, it should not be referred to as a security committee. Also, members should never try to intervene in any suspect situation; let local law enforcement handle these scenarios!
- Financial Committee: With sub-committees like finance, budget, investments, and reserves, the financial committee reviews monthly finances. The budget sub-committee may also be involved in creating the budget. The reserves sub-committee can track and make reserve study recommendations, while the investment committee develops and makes recommendations for the association’s investment policy.
- Architectural Committee: Using the covenants, conditions, and restrictions established by the community’s governing documents, the architectural committee helps to maintain property values and structures within the community.
- Landscape/Maintenance Committee: One of the more visual elements within the community, the landscape/maintenance committee can assist in supporting the HOA board in various projects that may be relevant.
- Nominations Committee: This committee assists to develop criteria for board candidates and oversees the election process.
These are just some of the common types of committees that HOA boards can create based on each community and their unique needs and qualities. Once you’ve determined which types of committees you need, consider these tips for creating them:
Community Members as Committee Members
Did you know that your association is full of members with valuable skills, talents, education, and training? Finding the right volunteers is key to operating a successful committee. The most effective way to create a committee and get homeowners involved is to invite them to get involved!
Another important way is to clearly communicate the needs of your community either through the website, social media, newsletter, or word of mouth. Using your HOA board meeting is another productive way to express your needs and invite homeowners to become an active part of their community by volunteering for a committee.
Developing personal relationships with homeowners is an important part to being able to identify individual talents and skills that may be an asset to your committees. Watch for opportunities to interact with community members and become aware of the unique qualities they may have to offer.
Each committee member should have a clearly defined role and understand what is to be expected of them. Committee members should understand the purpose of their committee. It will be necessary to appoint a committee chairperson to incorporate organizational and leadership skills to help facilitate an effective team. Each member should be able to demonstrate flexibility, honesty, and reliability.
Members on each committee should meet to set up their organizational structure, which should include a chairperson and a secretary. Determining a timekeeper and/or parliamentarian is optional.
The committee chairperson is mainly responsible for presiding over meetings (opening and closing meetings, as well as establishing meeting ground rules), and for creating a meeting agenda to be sent out ahead of meetings. The committee chairperson also attends monthly board meetings and reports on various problems or solutions that have been identified or requested by the board.
Members aside from the chairperson are responsible for identifying what the HOA board’s mandate is, setting goals and timetables to complete the projects, establishing a meeting schedule, and operating effectively to meet the needs of the community, relevant to the committee.
The Importance of Committees
Committees are extremely important to the overall operation of an HOA board. They help save board members time when tasks are properly allocated and completed.
Refer to this guide as needed to take a step back and reassess what changes need to be made so your HOA committees work for the betterment of your community.