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March 24, 2022
3 min read time

What are the Qualifications for Becoming an HOA Board Member?

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So you live in a homeowners' association and want to make a difference. Participating in HOA activities is one of the nicest aspects of living in an HOA. Every homeowner, after all, is also a co-owner of the entire neighborhood. Although all members have the right to vote, the board of directors is the one that makes decisions in the community.

So, if you wish to serve on your community board, the first thing you should consider is whether or not you are eligible.

Is it legal for you to join an HOA board of directors under your state's laws and governing documents? If you answered yes, you can begin your campaign for board membership and run in the next annual election.

Know Your State Laws on HOA Board Membership

Review the state laws regarding HOA board members first. You might be surprised by the number of restrictions governing HOA operations in the United States. These statutes will establish who can serve on an HOA board and for how long. You can review your governing documents to see if becoming a board member is legal in your state.

Resident and Member

First, are you a resident of the HOA you want to govern? Are you a homeowning member? Several states require that all board members belong to their respective communities as residents or members. Some do not, and you can board for a neighborhood you have left or never lived in.

Governing with Your Spouse

Is it possible for you to serve on the same HOA board as a close relative? Some states make it illegal for husband-and-wife teams or close relatives to work together, perhaps developing a neighborhood monopoly. Even in states where it is legal, the community may object, and it is generally regarded as a poor decision.

A Past Felony Conviction

Some states prohibit people with a past conviction from serving on the board of an HOA. If this rule is in your bylaws, it may be state-mandated.

Consecutive Years and Terms

How many years can you serve in a row? How many times can you serve a term on the board? Some states regulate the length of time one person can spend as a board member for their HOA. Others permit a lifetime appointment, with elections to make typical board member changes.

Number of Board Members

How many board members can your HOA have? The typical minimum by state law is 3 per community. However, the maximum number of board members can change depending on the original size of the board and the state laws regarding HOA board maximums.

Experience

No specific previous experience is required to become an HOA board member in state law and most HOA founding documents. However, the skills you bring can become helpful in managing the community. If you don't have a background in community management, don't worry. Being a board member doesn't mean you have to DIY.

In the neighborhood's best interest, boards can hire community management services to make sure that every board decision is executed correctly by professionals.

Board Membership by the Governing Documents

Next, check your governing documents. If you can legally become a board member by state law, your next challenge is covering all qualifications defined in the CC&R and bylaws about board members.

Resident and Member

Many HOAs require that board members also be members and usually that they be residents. Whether it's permitted by law, it's best to live and own in the neighborhood where you are a board member.

Years and Terms

How many years, and how many terms can you serve? Your HOA may have defined acceptable term limits for its board members.

Number of Board Members

What is the maximum number of board members you can have? The number of original board members may be specified in your founding documents. The number of board members is sometimes calculated based on the number of homes in the area. It's sometimes a specific number.

Other Qualifications

HOA documents are also free to define other qualifications to become a board member. Your documents may or may not have additional requirements. Some examples include living in the neighborhood for X years, attending a specific number or frequency of meetings, or involvement in association committees.

Do you want to run for HOA board member or live with someone who does? This is a great position to fill for your community and gives you the power to make positive changes in the neighborhood. 

Create your account today!

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