Homeowners can serve on the board of directors if they meet the qualifications established in the association's governing documents. Qualifications are normally found in the bylaws. In older unincorporated associations, they are often found in the CC&Rs.
No Qualifications. Original documents prepared by the developer often do not require any qualifications for serving on the board. This allows the developer to appoint non-owners to the board until such time as homeowners assume control. This means anyone, including tenants and delinquent owners, can serve on the board.
Reasonable Qualifications. Associations may amend their bylaws to establish reasonable qualifications for directors. Reasonableness is determined by whether the requirement is rationally related to the protection, preservation or proper operation of the association. (Laguna Royale v. Darger.) After homeowners assume control of their association, they frequently amend their documents to require director qualifications. Some of the more common qualifications include:
For a full list of director qualifications, see "Nominations" in the Election Menu.
Qualifications Via Rule Change. Because of the Friars Village v. Hansing decision, it appears boards can add new director qualifications without a vote of the membership. The court ruled that boards have the authority to adopt director qualifications by changing the rules, provided the qualifications are "reasonably related to the performance of the Board and will serve to protect its overall mission -- protecting the best interests of the Association." This decision is oddly out of place and may be narrowed considerably by future court decisions. Accordingly, the safer approach to director qualifications is to introduce them via bylaw amendments not rule changes.
Vacate Seat. If a director ceases to be qualified to serve on the board, the remaining directors can vacate the seat and appoint a replacement.
ASSISTANCE: For assistance establishing director qualifications for your association, contact us.
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