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Subject: HOA board members
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Author Messages
NormaB3
(Florida)

Posts:16


04/26/2021 11:44 AM  
Our governing docs have always required for a board member to be a deed holder in our association. Now our DRC has suggested we rewrite the bylaws to allow anyone to be on our board. What is the consensus from any of you who belong to an HOA? Pros and cons



SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3923


04/26/2021 11:47 AM  
It's a terrible idea in my opinion. If you're a homeowner, you have a vested interest in paying attention to what the board does, and most board members aren't inclined to do something that'll end up costing them a lot of money or drama (that's how it works in theory anyway).

If you're not a homeowner, it won't make any difference as to what the board does or not - you're not investing your money in the property and you can always move if you no longer like the community or can't afford it.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3923


04/26/2021 11:50 AM  
I should also mention if you have a lot of rental properties in your community and someone feels the tenants should have a say in how the community is run, I say sell the homes to the tenants and then they can have a voice. It's ok if they were to serve on some sort of social committee and could always act as volunteers for activities such as a community clean-up day,but if it comes to money or rules enforcement, that should be limited to homeowners as board members.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17599


04/26/2021 11:51 AM  
I lobbied for a change to our bylaws to limit directors to members only (member defined as deed holder).

In my lobbing efforts, I changed my mind.

This is because I discovered that many married older persons that are on their second marriage doesn't always have their spouse on the deed. This is done to keep the children happy or other financial/personal reasons. Had I been successful and implemented such a qualifier, I would have reduced the available volunteers to serve.


If you have plenty of volunteers (vs. the bear minimum) each election - then keep it.
If you do not have the volunteers - get rid of it to increase the volunteer pool.


JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:569


04/26/2021 11:57 AM  
In a perfect world owners would respond to board openings. In my world no one wants to run for the board or respond when we want to appoint someone when a board slot comes open. We dipped down to the minimum number of board members for around 7 months until we got someone to step up. I have often wondered if we could change the docs to state that a non owner could be appointed to the board whenever the number of existing board members drops to the minimum and no owner is willing to join after a 3-6 month period. It seems this would be a safety net to keep the community from going into receivership. Our problem is the average age is probably 70 and nobody wants to join the board.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1888


04/26/2021 11:59 AM  
Posted By TimB4 on 04/26/2021 11:51 AM
... snip ...

This is because I discovered that many married older persons that are on their second marriage doesn't always have their spouse on the deed. This is done to keep the children happy or other financial/personal reasons. Had I been successful and implemented such a qualifier, I would have reduced the available volunteers to serve.

... snip ...




This may be an issue depending on what Florida law says. In my state, anyone who is legally married to the person whose name is on the deed is considered an owner.

The easy way around this objection is to word the bylaws so that spouses have the same right as the owner. This will eliminate tenants, the property manager and other "interested parties" who may not have skin in the game the way owners do.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1888


04/26/2021 12:08 PM  
After I wrote the comment about spouses being considered owners, I realized that I don't know whether or not this conflicts with state property law or inheritance rights and the like.

I should have mentioned: run any changes to your bylaws by your HOA's attorney to make sure they comply with state law. It's easy to get this wrong and set the stage for expensive wrangling down the road.
AugustinD


Posts:313


04/26/2021 12:44 PM  
Once a developer has turned over control to the members of the HOA to elect their own Board, I am inclined to agree with TimB4. After all, only the Members can vote on directors. If the Declaration allows non-members to serve on the HOA Board, and post-turnover, then I think non-Member directors elected by the Members (or when vacancies arise, appointed by the directors) is fine.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10952


04/26/2021 1:13 PM  
I understand wanting all BOD Members to be owners but a case could be made for non owners on the BOD. Some thoughts:

1. A spouse of an owner is considered an owner for association purposes.
2. Spouses may not serve on the BOD together.
3. The Treasurer only, could be a non-owner if appointed by the BOD.
4. A non-owner Treasurer can be compensated at the BOD's discretion.
5. Tenants cannot serve on the BOD but may serve on Committees.


SheilaJ1
(South Carolina)

Posts:227


04/26/2021 3:43 PM  
Florida is not a common property state, so a spouse can’t vote or serve.

https://www.quickenloans.com/learn/community-property-states-x157903

Common property states include California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

So no a spouse is not considered an owner.

SheilaJ1
(South Carolina)

Posts:227


04/26/2021 3:53 PM  
And our bylaws do allow non members to serve. And even with that no one wants to serve. But it’s not like the HOA is advertising it either.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1888


04/27/2021 5:15 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 04/26/2021 1:13 PM
I understand wanting all BOD Members to be owners but a case could be made for non owners on the BOD. Some thoughts:

1. A spouse of an owner is considered an owner for association purposes.
2. Spouses may not serve on the BOD together.
3. The Treasurer only, could be a non-owner if appointed by the BOD.
4. A non-owner Treasurer can be compensated at the BOD's discretion.
5. Tenants cannot serve on the BOD but may serve on Committees.






It's not a matter of opening up everything to non-members or opening up nothing.

You can still limit board service to members but with specific exceptions as suggested above. For instance, my bylaws say you must be an owner to be a director, but committee membership is open to all residents.

For what it's worth about the tenants, people who rent generally aren't interested in the responsibilities of home ownership, especially in condo communities - otherwise they'd buy. The one group who may be interested are the domestic partners and other adults living together but not legally married, who seem to get overlooked most of the time.

Having said that, I still think there is an issue - maybe minor, maybe not - involving property rights. It's one thing to allow a bunch of strangers to control what happens with my property when all of those strangers are bound by the same legal contract as I am (the CC&Rs and bylaws). It's a different matter when others who are not bound by this contract have a say. It boils down to skin in the game. I would maybe change my mind about this if being a director were a paid, professional position and there would be negative consequences for the person who fails to perform adequately.



AugustinD


Posts:313


04/27/2021 6:20 AM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 04/27/2021 5:15 AM
It boils down to skin in the game.
I think it boils down to (1) frequently insufficient interest by members in serving as directors; and (2) members exercising their right to elect non-members as directors. Like TimB4 suggested, relatives of members are often willing to serve, even though they have no legal interest per se in the HOA. Why do relatives do this? Because they care about their relatives who are members. Where the Bylaws permit non-members to serve on boards, I have seen younger, non-member relatives serve on boards because their elderly relatives, who are HOA members, were not up to it and their elderly relative asked if they would help out.
NormaB3
(Florida)

Posts:16


04/27/2021 4:52 PM  
Thank you all very much for your comments
KathleenS3
(Texas)

Posts:2


04/30/2021 9:12 AM  
As of the last legislative session in 2019, in Texas:
1. HOAs may require that one or more, not all, directors and officers reside in the subdivision the HOA serves. Texas Property Code Sec.209.00591
2. Two directors may not cohabit at the same residence. Texas Property Code Sec. 209.0059.
Texas law does not require directors own property in the subdivision.

Having served on the Board of an HOA that did not require residence or ownership, here is what we found:
- nonresident Board members are not around as much as residents, so can be "captured" by factions with strange axes to grind
- a nonresident Board member may have skills or abilities not easily found in the current pool of residents


GeorgeR8
(Arizona)

Posts:175


05/04/2021 6:12 AM  
We only allow deeded property owners to serve on the board.

If a spouse doesn't have them on the deed why would I want them to make decisions about my home?

Is it a marriage or a business deal?

They don't come to meetings and they are told up front that they do not have an opinion.

Don't care about renters since we are owner occupied.

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