Board Management Jurisdiction Maintaining the Balance

For a car to run, all the parts (most of them, anyway) need to be in working order. The engine has to be well oiled, the tires must be inflated properly, and sometimes the brakes need adjusting. The major components of the machine must be fully functional in order to get anywhere.

In a lot of ways, an HOA or condo community is a lot like a car. Without proper maintenance of an HOA's main components, (i.e., the board, the managing company and the residents/tenants themselves) the machine stops. Not only should each one of these parts be separately maintained within their own parameters, the relationships between all the parts must be in full working order, too— a car's engine can't run well for very long if the gas tank has a leak.

Keep it Running Right

The relationship between your association's board and your managing company is one of the most crucial in the proper functioning of the "machine" that is your community. With proper communication, and by fostering mutual respect and cooperation, any association can set goals and achieve them. When there is strife between your manager and board, however, or when there is confusion about who's responsible for what and when, the "car" is sure to break down. Developing— and maintaining—a fair, balanced and open relationship between your board and management company is one of the most important tasks a community association will take on.

"Because there are so many tasks to perform, and so few set boundaries, it's often hard to tell where the board's role ends and the managing agent's begins," says Sylvia Shapiro, author of The Co-op Bible,recently re-released by St. Martin's Press.

But Connie Bittle, senior property manager with Smithfield-based Diversified Property Management, says the duties of the board, the manager and their relationship is, in theory, pretty straightforward.

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