The directors of a homeowners association are vested with the responsibility of properly managing the business operations and the common areas that are included within their association. Proper management necessitates the exercise of sound business judgment in connection with the selection and retention of the association’s managing personnel such as directors, officers and property managers, as well as its employees, and independent contractors.
Because homeowner association directors are uncompensated volunteers that work part-time and serve for limited periods of time, it is very difficult to maintain control over the many people that contribute to the operations of the homeowners association and to know exactly what is going on at all times. As such, making the right decisions on the people that a homeowners association relies on is critical to the success of the association and the consequences of relying on the wrong people can be financially devastating. A prospective board member, bookkeeper, property manager, security guard or maintenance person may have a great resume and be impressive in an interview, but because it is common for applicants to provide incomplete or false information that can easily go undetected, good business judgment necessitates doing a lot more than reading a resume and conducting an interview to really know who you are dealing with. Thus, aside from taking the time to verify information that is contained in a resume or provided in an interview, it is a good idea to conduct a background check that will provide information about past criminal records and other information that offers insight into an individual’s behavior, character, and integrity.
There are various types of background reports on an individual that are available for evaluation and consideration of a prospective candidate for a position being sought by that individual. The nature and extent of the reports that should be considered are dependent on the position in question. Commonly employed background screening reports that utilized by a homeowners association could include credit checks, drug tests, past employers, criminal background investigations, driving records, and sex offender checks. Outsourced screening firms that are familiar with any applicable federal or state laws are typically utilized to provide the desired background investigation reports for fees that vary with the nature and extent of the desired information.
Separate and apart from purchasing background information reports on a prospective individual, homeowners association management should not ignore other basic procedures such as calling previous employers and colleges/universities to verify past employment and educational degrees that have been included on an applicant’s resume or application. A quick internet web search can also provide much information about an individual that could be valuable for consideration.