Serving on the Board of Directors for your Homeowners Association can be a rewarding, honorable role. Serving as Board President, in particular, presents you with ample opportunity to serve your neighbors and to make the community a better place. With that said, serving as President can be a difficult and sometimes thankless job, as well. It involves a real time commitment. It requires you to deal with difficult personalities, and to make decisions that can sometimes be unpopular.
For these reasons, every HOA may run into a scenario where there is simply nobody willing to run for a position on the current Board, or to take on the responsibilities of the presidency. The question is, what can your HOA do to navigate these tough situations?
There are a number of steps that we would recommend for HOAs in search of qualified officers and willing presidents. Here are our suggestions from Kuester Management Group, which offers HOA management in Huntersville NC, Charlotte NC, Myrtle Beach SC, and HOA Management in Fort Mill SC.
Read Your Governing Documents
First and foremost, it’s important to consult with the rules that govern your HOA. Governing documents will provide you with some insight into whether the HOA can operate with a vacancy, and how may vacancies are permitted at any given time. The governing documents may also provide you with guidelines as to if and when to hold a special election, should your current President step aside before the end of a term. Finally, the governing documents will provide some important information about establishing quorum, a key concern to ensure the compliance of your Board meetings.
Check the Law
Another important step is to see what local laws say about running an HOA where nobody is willing to serve as President. (Note that laws vary quite a bit from state to state, and you may wish to consult with your HOA attorney or management company to see what local ordinances are like.) In some situations, a current Board President may be allowed to serve until the next President is duly elected, even if that means a longer-than-normal term. This is a really crucial step, because extending the term of a current President may present legal complications, depending on your area.
Don’t Rush Into Anything
When your HOA is operating without a full leadership team, it can be tempting to jump at the first warm body you can find who’s filling to step into the role. Not so fast. Finding a new President is key, but you don’t want to elect someone who will be a bad fit, or door a poor job representing the community association. Take the time to really talk with any potential candidate about what the role entails, and to ensure someone who really seems like they will do a decent job in the presidency role.
Avoid Whole-Board Resignations
If you’re operating without a President, that will probably mean more work for everyone else who’s serving on the Board. If your officers get too burned out, you risk more walkouts or resignations. If your entire Board departs, that could really mean legal issues for the HOA, to say nothing of operational issues. Be in contact with the HOA management company to see how they can support the Vice President and other Board members, help you plan for upcoming elections, run an effective Board meeting, etc.
Communicate with Homeowners
Operating without a President can be awkward and frustrating, but those feelings will only be compounded if you try to retain any kind of secrecy. It’s generally a good policy to be candid with homeowners in your community, keeping them up to speed on your efforts to find a replacement Board President.
Prepare Homeowner for Board Service
One way in which you can prevent a situation where nobody wants to serve as President is to make sure you’re continually in the process of priming homeowners for service on the Board. Always be on the lookout for promising talents, and provide educational opportunities for anyone who shows interest. Make it so that you always have new candidates on deck to serve as the leader of your HOA, ensuring your readiness even as term limits expire.
Talk to Your Management Team
We’ve mentioned this already, but it’s worth mentioning just how helpful the management team can be in supporting the Board and the entire community during difficult seasons. As soon as you recognize a problem, reach out to them to talk about the next replacement steps.
At Kuester Management Group, we are always happy to consult with your Board of Directors to help navigate through precarious issues, including situations in which there is nobody willing to serve as President. If your community association is located in NC or in SC, reach out to us any time you’d like to chat.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens when no one wants to be on the HOA Board?
The specific consequences can vary depending on state law and HOA governing documents. In many instances, the currently-serving Board members continue serving until duly elected successors are chosen.
How do you remove a president from an HOA?
Check the governing documents of your HOA; there is often a way to vote a President off the Board, though doing so will usually be a big disruption to the life of the community.
Do HOA presidents make money?
The majority of the time, HOA Board members serve in a voluntary capacity.
Can HOA Presidents be sued?
Yes, unhappy community members can sue either the HOA as a whole or individual Board members.
What happens when the HOA Board President resigns?
Check your HOA governing docs, or talk with your management company, about how to fill the vacancy as expediently as possible.