Adams Stirling PLC


Spouses and Co-Owners. There is nothing in the law prohibiting a husband and wife from serving on the board. If an association's bylaws are silent regarding director qualifications, then spouses can serve together on the board. Small associations, in particular, have difficulty persuading people to serve on the board. It is not uncommon in small self-managed associations for a retired couple to be on the board.

Potential Conflict of Interest. Joint owners on boards, whether partners who own a unit or husband/wife ownership, create a potential conflict because the joint owners may act as a voting block on all issues rather than acting independently. There is nothing illegal with joint owners on boards. Even so, many associations are uncomfortable with the arrangement and amend their bylaws or election rules to prevent this from occurring. 

Optional Qualification. The Davis-Stirling Act allows associations to adopt a restriction prohibiting a member from serving on the board at the same time as another person who holds an ownership interest in the same unit or lot. (Civ. Code § 5105(c)(2).)

One Vote Rule. If an association allows co-owners to serve on the board, the "one vote per household" restriction found in governing documents does not apply to directors elected to boards. Even though co-owners have only one vote between them when it comes to matters placed before the membership for a vote, each has a vote when it comes to matters voted on by the board.

ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.

Adams Stirling PLC