Serving on your homeowner association (HOA) board can be a thankless, challenging, and lonely job. It might seem like no one wanted it, and somehow I got stuck with it kind of a position. Usually, the job description comes with late-night maintenance phone calls, long-winded alcohol-induced suggestions, and the expectations that it is your job to deal with the noisy neighbors next door, including all barking dogs. You end up feeling much more like the person designated to put out fires than an actual board member. Perhaps a better description might be a trash collector. When you serve on a board, it seems like you’re always picking up other people’s garbage.
It shouldn’t be this way, and these activities should never be considered as the responsibility of a board member. Neither is enforcing rules, making collection phone calls, or writing citations. HOA’s are too small for neighbors to be treating neighbors in this fashion, and you want to ask, “Can’t we all just get along?”
Volunteering for your board should be a rewarding experience. If you busy yourself with such issues as best strategies to make sure all the garbage cans are off of the curb by 7:01 pm on Friday, you are encouraged to reconsider taking a position on the board. It isn’t any fun to live under an HOA board that concerns itself with finding every reason it can to find its members.
Such attitudes undermine the whole point of the HOA, turning the carefree living into a nightmare for the owners. If, on the other hand, you want to learn how to protect your HOA, create a sense of community, and look back with pride on your time on the board, then learn to pick your battles and take our simple pieces of advice.