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HOA 101: Understanding the Role of the Board President

woman talking to a professional crowd

To function correctly, a homeowners' association (HOA) must have a board of directors that's authorized to act on a community's behalf, create and enforce community guidelines, and maintain shared spaces. Generally, the HOA board has four officer positions: president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Each officer has specific duties and responsibilities related to the operation of the association. Read on to learn more about the role of the HOA board president.

What Does the HOA Board President Do?

The HOA board president is vested with the same powers typically given to the chief executive officer of a corporation. This office should be the authority on the rules and laws that govern the board, handle procedural duties, and serve as the spokesperson for business matters. While the exact responsibilities of the board president vary by community, the following are the most common:

  • Schedule, attend, and run board meetings
  • Establish meeting agendas
  • Serve as the main point of contact for management partners
  • Sign association documents
  • Call for votes and announce results
  • Appoint committees

How Do You Become the HOA Board President?

Dedicated volunteers are the backbone of any community association. If you truly care about your neighbors and the future of your community, then you likely have what it takes to be a successful board member—even the president.

To start, the board president has to be elected, so before putting your name on the ballot, make sure you understand the process. You should participate in community events, attend meetings, and familiarize yourself with your association’s rules.

Once you learn the basics, you'll have a better understanding of what it'll take to become an HOA board president—and if you'll be well-suited for the role. This role is a time commitment, and it isn't for everyone. If serving as the president isn’t for you, there are other volunteer opportunities with varying levels of responsibility that might be a better fit.

What Makes a Good HOA President?

An HOA president doesn’t act alone. Having a strong board of directors is key in determining the success of a community—and the effectiveness of a president. It’s crucial to ensure there’s a good working relationship between the president and the board. To make that happen, here are five characteristics of a successful board president.

1. They have a student mindset.

Board members aren't expected to be experts right away. Good presidents should take the time to learn about the state and local laws, governing documents, and the overall operations of the association. They should also seek out and respect the advice of professional partners. There is always more to learn, and the more you know, the better off you’ll be.

2. They are responsive.

The to-do list for the board of directors can grow quickly, and many tasks are time-sensitive. As the main point of contact, it’s essential the board president remains organized and can attend to matters promptly if needed.  

3. They are good mediators.

When residents disagree, things can get heated—and board members typically need to get involved. Board presidents must maintain a professional demeanor, stay objective, and be willing to understand all points of view.

4. They are strong communicators.

As the spokesperson and main point of contact of the association, the board president needs to have strong communication skills. They should be able to communicate clearly to residents, management partners, and service providers and be comfortable speaking on behalf of the association.

5. They have a passion for the community.

Quality community leaders genuinely care about their relationships and the future of their community. A good board president should view their role as an opportunity to serve others and be enthusiastic about improving the community and achieving goals.

Who’s Who in Community Associations

It can be overwhelming to understand the roles and responsibilities of each key player involved in your HOA. To learn more about who’s who in your neighborhood, check our blog post, “HOA 101: Who’s Who in Community Associations.”