The beginning months of every year are always a perfect time to have a fresh start and make sure everything is as organized as it can be in your association. One of the most important things to keep in mind is the yearly calendar because this includes all of the crucial items that will keep your association running efficiently this year. Here is an HOA checklist that has been compiled with all of the important items that should be written in your calendar.
Items to Have on Your HOA Checklist
Every association must have an HOA yearly checklist to refer to as a guide for what it must do in the coming year. By composing a list, your HOA can plan everything ahead of time and reduce the risk of conflicts. Preparations, though, must be made way ahead of January. Here are all the items to include in your HOA yearly calendar checklist:
1. Governing Documents
Every start of the year, your association must see to it that your governing documents are up to date. If amendments were made throughout the previous year, make sure your current copies reflect these changes. Keeping outdated copies is one thing, but following outdated rules is another.
Furthermore, your updated governing documents must be filed in local jurisdiction land records and the SCC. Every homeowner must also be given a copy. Finally, your HOA or condo welcome packages must contain copies of the amended governing documents, as well.
One of the first things that happen in the calendar is the audits of the organization’s finances. Although these may not happen every year, in the years your association does consider bringing in an auditor, they usually occur within the first two months. The audit should be scheduled in the calendar as soon as the previous year is closed out.
To make sure the audit goes as smoothly as possible, you must prepare an HOA audit checklist ahead of time. The checklist must include all financial documents and reports, as well as ledgers, receipts, disbursements, and even bank statements.
With the new year comes the inevitable: taxes. Tax time can bring about a lot of headaches, which is why no one really likes it when it comes around. Unfortunately, filing your taxes is an integral part of running a homeowners association.
Take care because association taxes need to be filed earlier than personal taxes — usually on March 15. Stay ahead of the game and schedule time in February to complete your taxes so that you can be sure to get them in before the deadline.
4. Board Meetings
The beginning of the year is a perfect time to reevaluate board meeting times, so see to it this item makes it on your HOA checklist. Scheduling the meetings at the beginning of the year will give board members plenty of time to plan for them and be committed to coming. Plan ahead if there are any months during which no meetings will be held, and let everyone know ahead of time.
5. Construction, Maintenance, or Renovation Plans
Now is the perfect time to begin scheduling and planning any major projects that are on the agenda for the year. Make sure that everyone on the board and in the community is kept up to date on any large changes that will be taking place. Prepare an HOA maintenance checklist to make sure you do not miss anything.
Now is also the time to schedule in advance any seasonal openings or closures that will occur in buildings on your property throughout the different seasons. By doing this ahead of time, you can notify homeowners of any closures at the earliest possible date. This eliminates any inconveniences that may arise due to late notice.
6. Committee Meetings
Your HOA checklist must also include committee meetings. Make sure that all of the committee meetings are scheduled ahead of time.
Oftentimes, it is best to wait until you know when the board meetings will be and schedule the committee meetings about a week or so before. This way, the information from the committee meetings can be efficiently relayed to members of the board.
7. Annual Meeting
One important item that should be written on your community association yearly checklist is the annual meeting. The date and time for this meeting can usually be found within the governing documents of the association. Put this in the calendar as well as a date for sending out reminders to members of the community to attend.
It is important to remember that you must schedule annual meetings and send the proper notice as dictated by the governing documents. If your bylaws state that notice must be sent at least 30 days before the annual meeting, then you must follow what it says.
Your state laws may also affect how early or late you can send the notice of the meeting. For instance, according to the North Carolina Planned Community Act GS § 47F-3-108, notice must be sent no more than 60 days or less than 10 days prior. Failure to comply could land you in trouble with the law.
8. Budget and Assessments
Your homeowners association checklist must also include time for budget preparation and assessment calculation. A good time to do this would be in the middle of the year. It can take up to six months to gather and organize all of the financial information, so this process should be started in early summer to give the association enough time to get the numbers processed.
An insurance checkup should be part of every HOA administrative checklist. Examine your insurance policy again to make sure it covers everything your HOA may need, including insurance for emergencies or natural disasters.
You should also make sure you are up to date on all premium payments, which should be included in your budget planning.
It may seem like a strange item to put on an HOA checklist, yet you should not neglect them. Holidays are already on the calendar, but closures are not. This is a perfect time to decide on closures for buildings or offices as well as which days will be holidays for any resident staff.
If your association has a newsletter, the beginning of the year is a good time to reevaluate how often the newsletter should be released so that writers of that newsletter can be notified of which days they will be expected to release it. Put these dates on the calendar.
12. Special Events
Any special events should be scheduled at this time as well. Events can be a treat for residents and a way for individuals in management to show appreciation for members of the community.
Get together with members of the board and committee now to decide what fun events and celebrations you want to have during the year and work on getting them on the schedule.
Get Your HOA Checklist in Order
The start of the year is an exciting yet busy time for homeowners associations. With so many things on the agenda, they can start to pile up without you even noticing it. As such, it is critical to prepare an HOA checklist to help organize what you should do for the year. When it comes to HOAs, a full calendar is certainly better than an empty one! Take the time at the beginning of the year to make sure everything important has been scheduled.
If your association needs help putting together an HOA checklist or simply carrying out tasks, you may benefit from partnering with an HOA management company. Give us a call should you ever need it.
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