Most housing associations hold annual HOA elections, where board members are selected by members who appoint a president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary. Those elections can involve campaigning, and candidates may need support or backing from a previous or existing board member to stand, depending on the guidelines and policies in the HOA governing documents.
One of the reasons HOAs have specific requirements for board members is that, although they are volunteers, they have a certain amount of authority and power.
Each state has laws specific to HOA boards, which dictate how long any board member can serve and who can stand for election. For example, some states prohibit anybody with a felony conviction from taking on a role.
Can an HOA evict a homeowner? Possibly, depending on the relevant legislation and how the governing rules allow the board to enforce regulations and respond to violations.
HOAs can take robust action, such as putting a lien on a property where the owner has failed to pay maintenance fees, which could impact the viability of somebody remaining in situ where they have committed serious breaches. Therefore, an HOA may have eligibility criteria around your standing in the community to ensure every board member is responsible, trustworthy, and will use the powers granted correctly.
Some HOAs have qualification requirements recorded in their ruling documents. These could include:
They may also expect candidates to be well-versed in all HOA policies, such as knowing the condo association approval process.
State laws may restrict people from the same household or spouses from simultaneously serving on an HOA board. This rule does not apply everywhere but can be implemented to prevent one family from monopolizing the HOA or using selective enforcement for personal reasons.
Even where this is permitted by law, HOA members may be reluctant to vote for spousal board members.
Board members may be eligible to stand for reelection. Still, there is normally a cap on the total number of years one individual can serve or the number of consecutive years a board member can serve concurrently.
Other boards allow lifetime appointments, but they may still be subject to HOA elections and whether association members support repeated reelection.
Typically, a board needs at least three members, but the maximum size will depend on state laws and the governing policies. HOA boards can expand where the demands and scope of the association increase due to new homes in the neighborhood or a larger number of residents.
Maximum board sizes are usually calculated based on the number of properties in the area under remit but may also be a specific number that remains static.
The primary requirement is normally to be a resident and homeowner, and you don’t necessarily need prior experience. However, if you have skills, an established presence, a good reputation in your community, and a track record of strong communication, you may find these are an advantage during HOA board elections.