QUESTION: In our CC&Rs everyone becomes a member of our association upon purchasing a condo. In rewriting our CC&Rs the board is proposing a six-month to two-year residency requirement before a homeowner can run for the board. Your thoughts on the legality of this?
ANSWER: Residency requirements are common in the public sector. Not only must candidates reside in the district they want to represent, candidates must reside for a specified period of time. The time period varies depending on the particular jurisdiction and the office sought. Following are two examples:
President. Natural born citizen of the United States, at least 35 years of age, and a resident of the United States for at least 14 years. (Art 2, §1, Para, 5, U.S. Const.)
Calif. State Senators and Assembly Members. Eighteen years of age, a citizen of the United States, a registered voter, a resident of the legislative district for one year, and a resident of California for 3 years immediately preceding the General Election. (Calif. Const. Art. IV, §2c, S/S Ops.)
Outsiders. The idea behind residency requirements is to ensure candidates have ties to the community they represent. Residency requirements give neighbors a chance to evaluate candidates before electing them to the board. If an association decides to adopt them, residency requirements should be reasonable not excessive.
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