Being a Board member or volunteering for an Association committee contributes to the wellness of your community, enhances property values, and can provide a positive experience. Below is a list of ten best practices that can assist you as a Board member and Association leader.

C – COMMUNICATION: The Board should maximize communication with Association residents to sponsor transparency. Scheduling open meetings, distributing newsletters, and limiting closed sessions promotes accountability.

O – ORGANIZATION: The Board must maintain proper Association records to comply with Illinois law and for future Board member use. This includes meeting minutes for the past seven years, records of financial accounts for the past ten years, and ballots/proxies for the past year.

M – MINDFULNESS: The Board should be aware of their duties and their limitations. They are elected, volunteer officials who are responsible for Association operations. Board members are not property managers, maintenance professionals, or members of law enforcement.

M – MONEY: The Board should prepare for the future by budgeting and setting aside reasonable reserves without imposing a hardship on the Owners.

U – UPDATES: Local, state, and federal laws governing condominium and homeowner Associations are constantly changing. Having current governing documents is essential to minimizing legal challenges to the Association.

N – NEEDS: Every Association has specific needs such as landscaping, maintenance, and security. Vendors write their own contracts or hire their own attorney to draft the agreement for their benefit. It is necessary for proposed contracts to be reviewed by the Association’s attorney prior to execution to ensure the agreements protect the Association.

I – INVOLVEMENT: The Board should create committees and involve more people to prevent burnout, delegate projects, and groom future board members. Possible committees include: finance, maintenance, social, and landscaping.

T – THOROUGH: The Board should understand the Association governing documents. Familiarity with your Declaration, By-Laws, and Rules/Regulations clarifies Board responsibilities and Owner obligations.

Y – YOU’VE GOT THIS…TOGETHER: The Board should be unified in their efforts. It maintains Owner confidence while weakening rumors, gossip, and innuendoes.

If your Association has any legal concerns, do not hesitate to contact KSN. Since 1985, our law firm has been a legal resource for community associations throughout the Chicagoland area. We have multiple offices including downtown Chicago, Mundelein, and Naperville. Please call 855-537-0500 or visit www.ksnlaw.com.

This article is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By reading this article you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the article author. This article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. © 2019 Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit, A Professional Corporation.