Is it ever ok to remove an HOA Board Member?

One of the central functions of the HOA board is to maintain civil discourse within the community—to provide a polite and pragmatic forum for community members to discuss the efforts that must be taken to make their neighborhood a better place to live. And generally speaking, HOA board members are happy to uphold this standard. Every now and then, though, an HOA board member causes problems, and makes it impossible for this kind of civil discourse to happen.

Of course, nobody likes thinking about this. It’s not a pleasant happening. But it does happen, and boards need to know how to deal with it. In cases like these, for the good of the community as a whole, it is sometimes necessary to remove an HOA board member in question.

The most important thing to say here is that the removal of a board member can only happen—and should only happen—with board consensus. There may be a particular board member who rubs you the wrong way, but if you’re alone in that feeling, it’s a poor idea to move for that person to be removed. Board member removal is a last resort, and appropriate only when that board member is causing widespread problems in the community or on the HOA board.

The next thing to remember is that the removal of a board member must be done in accordance with your association bylaws. These regulations might look a little different from one community to the next, but the general steps to follow are these:

  • A single homeowner, or a group, proposes the removal of the offending member.
  • A meeting is organized and a vote is held.
  • Depending on how that vote goes, the member in question either stays put or is asked to leave.

Before embarking on this process, it’s important to check the bylaws for a few details. Check for the percentage of voters required for a quorum; check for the means by which votes might be cast; and perhaps most importantly, check for the procedures for filling the vacant position.

This is never a happy occurrence, but it’s a contingency that your HOA board should be prepared to handle, should the worst-case scenario come to be.

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