The board plays an integral role in managing the HOA, and it can take time for everyone to work together effectively. But a solid board can run like a well-oiled machine. When a board member resigns, that can throw everything off balance and leave a vacancy that must be filled. Having a plan for managing resignations while keeping the association running as smoothly as possible is essential.
Know what your association’s governing documents say about how vacancies are handled. Are there a specific number of directors that are required? Will the HOA be in violation if the position is not filled within a certain amount of time? Can the board appoint a temporary director until the end of the former member’s term? The board should have a process in place for handling resignations and what steps must be taken to appoint a new board member.
If a board member does decide to step down – either expectedly or unexpectedly – there are a few steps the HOA should immediately take:
- Request that the resignation be put in writing if it was not already. The HOA should have a formal statement saying they are stepping down, not just a verbal notice.
- Communicate with homeowners and let them know that a board member has resigned and what the association’s next steps are. Reassure them that the board is continuing to work in their best interest.
- Change passwords for any emails, websites, or other resources the former member may have had access to as a member of the board. The board has an obligation to keep association data safe, and that means limiting access to only authorized individuals.
- Collect any records, files, handbooks, or keys the former board member may have received when they joined the board.
- Update contact information to reflect current board members.
- Formally accept the outgoing member’s resignation at the next board meeting and ensure this information is included in the minutes.
Finally, the board should look to fill the vacancy as soon as possible. It is a good idea to maintain a pipeline of potential board candidates so that when a position opens up, there are people ready to step up. Maintain regular communication with members about the importance and benefits of board service, ways they can get involved, and the responsibilities of each position.
Encourage board members to be open to talking with homeowners who are interested in serving so they can learn more. If there are members who have been particularly vocal in the past or who regularly come up with great ideas, approach them about their willingness to serve on the board. They may just need a little encouragement and support.
Turnover on the board does not have to be a bad thing. Although unexpected vacancies can be a challenge, bringing on new board members can create positive change. It can provide fresh perspectives and ideas that keep the board motivated and the community moving forward.
If your association is dealing with a board vacancy, turn to Kuester for guidance. We’ll work with you to determine next steps, how to effectively fill the position, and how to communicate changes to homeowners. Contact us today to learn more!