Using e-mail in HOA management can be an efficient way to communicate. However, it can cause issues if not carefully managed. I always recommend HOA Boards develop a clear e-mail policy for association business. And, the first step in developing that policy is to fully understand your state’s regulations for using e-mail communications in a HOA.
I suggest your HOA starts with the following:
- Review your state’s rules governing e-mail use by HOA Board of Directors. For example, Arizona and Florida have no laws yet governing e-mail use in HOAs. However, the states do have open meeting laws. Therefore, e-mail should only be used for sharing and distributing information; never for voting situations or finalizing official business.
- Refrain from incorporating any personal opinions into HOA business e-mails. Remember, any e-mails can become part of a court case.
- No purchasing authorizations, regardless how small, should be made through e-mail. For full transparency, all purchases must be approved at open meetings.
My main recommendation is to practice discipline when using e-mail on behalf of the HOA. It’s easy to get carried away, so stay focused on the association’s guidelines and the business at hand.
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