The role of the HOA vice president is often blurry and varies from association to association. For this reason, many misunderstand what it truly means to become the vice president of an HOA. Whether you’re planning on running for the position or about to assume office in your HOA, here are the responsibilities of a vice president of the homeowners association.
The Role of the HOA Vice President Defined
History has a complicated relationship with vice presidents. While many have made a difference in the world, only a few became truly memorable. It doesn’t help that their duties aren’t clearly understood by everyone. The same problem applies in the context of a homeowners association. So, what exactly is the role of the HOA vice president? Let’s discuss the HOA vice president responsibilities below:
1. Substitute HOA Board President
The main role of an HOA vice president is to act as a substitute for the president should they be unavailable for whatever reason. In cases of the president’s absence, someone must be available to oversee the rest of the board and association to ensure it continues to run smoothly.
So if your president calls in sick or files a long-term leave, you must be prepared to assume their role.
It helps to shadow the president as they go about their day-to-day responsibilities. This way, you’re not taken aback by the sheer amount and nature of work that you’re left with. Some of the duties you should expect to fulfill in the president’s absence are:
- Presiding over meetings, be it annual or board
- Signing checks, leases, stock certificates, contracts, and other legal documents
- Overseeing the creation of the annual budget and financial expenditures
- Liaise with the HOA management company and vendors
2. Follow the President’s Orders
The vice president of a homeowners association also carries out any tasks assigned to them by the HOA board president. This can include assisting in securing bids for maintenance projects, checking in on various committees, managing employees (if any), and meeting with the management team.
3. Liaise with Committees
Due to their position on the board and often lack of consistent duties, a vice president may also serve as the liaison for one or more HOA committees.
For communities that receive numerous architectural requests, the vice president often acts as a contact between the review committee and the board when the request at hand needs to be reviewed by the board as well as the committee.
This gives the request an extra set of eyes and ensures it coincides with the association’s governing documents. The vice president can also act as chairman for other committees, overseeing social events, landscaping, and the community pool.
What Makes a Good HOA Vice President
The primary role of the HOA vice president is to serve as a proxy to the president in case the latter is absent. Therefore, it makes sense for a good vice president to possess the same qualities of a good president. If you’re ever in the position, here are the qualities of an HOA vice president:
1. Knows How to Delegate
Should the vice president assume the temporary role of president in an HOA, they must be able to delegate tasks well. Don’t control your subordinates or shoulder all of the work yourself. Furthermore, if you have employees or a committee working under you, you must learn to lean on them and trust that they will perform their tasks successfully.
2. Works Well With a Team
Every HOA board is comprised of different members, each working towards the same goal: the maintain the community flawlessly and improve property values. However, that doesn’t mean you should stay in your own corners, quietly working alone.
An effective board works like a well-oiled machine, with gears working as a team to keep it running. As vice president, you must know how to cooperate with fellow board members and discuss issues with them before taking action.
3. Possesses Good Communication Skills
Whether or not you’re acting as a substitute president, a vice president must have good communication skills. You must know how to converse with residents of the community, vendors, and your HOA manager. Furthermore, you should be able to communicate instructions clearly to those working under you. This way, you can avoid any misunderstandings.
4. Open to Criticism
Just like all other board members, the HOA vice president must know how to accept criticism gracefully. You will always have critics — that’s just part of the job description. However, how you handle your critics is entirely up to you and could very well define what kind of leader you are.
Of course, not all criticism is bad. Some can be constructive and actually help you on your journey as vice president. The key is to know how to discern which ones are useful and which ones are just hateful comments.
5. Fair and Honest
A good vice president is both fair and honest when it comes to enforcing the rules and fulfilling their duties. Make sure all rules are enforced in a uniform way with no bias. There should be no room for selective enforcement on your board.
Additionally, you must stay truthful and transparent, especially when it comes to the association’s financials. If your HOA is suffering financially, don’t encourage fellow board members to hide the HOA’s financial condition. While community residents may not react positively to the news, they still have a right to know.
Due to the nature of the role, being vice president can test your patience. Sometimes, you will be left with nothing to do and no tasks to perform. Even if you do have tasks, they may not require a lot of work and can be done in an instant. If this happens to you, remember to keep calm and maintain your composure. Assist other board members or see what else you can do to help. It may not seem like it to you, but your role is still an important one.
7. Always Prepared
Again, the main role of the HOA vice president is to step up as the president in case the latter is unable to fulfill their responsibilities. This can happen at any time, so you must be prepared to fill in immediately.
The Vice Presidency Awaits
Though the role of the HOA vice president may seem trivial at times, for associations, it can be an essential one. It allows responsibilities to be handed from the president when the workload is too heavy and ensures everything gets completed. Furthermore, it provides the association with a safety net of sorts should the president ever need to step down or be absent.
If your HOA board is having difficulty running the association, hiring an HOA management company may be beneficial. In that case, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
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