Delegating Duties & Authority

An association’s board of directors generally has the power to “delegate the management of the activities of the [association] to any person or persons, management company, or committee however composed, provided that the activities and affairs of the [association] shall be managed and all corporate powers shall be exercised under the ultimate direction of the board.” (Corp. Code § 7210.) Because of the limitations placed on the board’s ability to conduct association business (i.e., the prohibition on actions without a meeting), as well as the fact that directors serve in the capacity of unpaid volunteers, a large portion of the board’s duties, powers and authority in managing the association are often delegated to other parties such as the association’s managing agent or committees of the association that assist with the association’s day-to-day operations.

Non-Delegable Duties
There are certain duties and powers of the board which may not be delegated to other persons, either as a result of an explicit legal requirement and/or in order to avoid liability. Those non-delegable duties generally include:

Delegating “Items of Business”
The “Common Interest Development Open Meeting Act” (“Open Meeting Act”) is codified at Civil Code Sections 4900 through 4955. One of the Open Meeting Act’s provisions prohibits HOA boards from “tak[ing] action on any item of business outside of a board meeting.” (Civ. Code § 4910(a) (Emphasis added).) Because of the various notice requirements applicable to board meetings, this “no action without a meeting” requirement may inhibit the board’s ability to act on time-sensitive matters or other issues that arise between the board’s scheduled meetings.

The term “item of business” used in Civil Code Section 4910 is significant.  “Item of business” is defined as:

“…any action within the authority of the board, except those actions that the board has validly delegated to any other person or persons, managing agent, officer of the association, or committee of the board comprising less than a quorum of the board.” (Civ. Code § 4155 (Emphasis added).)

The ability to delegate certain board actions to the association’s managing agent or a committee of the association (i.e., an architectural committee, construction committee, etc.) is thus a common tool utilized by boards to circumvent the “no action without a meeting” requirement.