The HOA board is central to its function. After all, they are they the team making decisions on a daily basis and overseeing the well-being of the organization. With such an important role, should there be limits on how many consecutive terms a board member can hold? The rules vary from state to state; some states have specific laws in place regarding term limits and whether they are permissible, while others do not. It may be up to each HOA to determine how this is handled. There can be pros and cons for each side:
Pros of Having Term Limits:
- It prevents one person from dominating the board for an extended period of time.
- It enforces turnover and brings new ideas and perspectives to the board.
- It allows more homeowners to have an opportunity to serve in this capacity.
- It can increase appeal of holding a board seat knowing that it is for a limited term.
Cons of Having Term Limits:
- It can create problems if no one steps up to run for open seats on the board.
- It can oust a highly effective, knowledgeable, and experienced board member who is serving the community well and enjoys their role.
- It takes time for new board members to acclimate and having experienced members who know the HOA’s history can be beneficial.
- It can be disruptive to have turnover every few years and elect members who may not be fully invested in the role.
Every association works differently. Some may have a very devoted board that the community values and believes is doing a good job of managing the community. Why disrupt something that is working well? On the other hand, some associations may have a less than stellar board member or not be working effectively and term limits force a positive change.
Some HOAs opt for looser term limits, such as limiting service to six or eight years before making a board member step down for a period of a year or more. Or, rules may state that the person can no longer hold an officer role, or must switch roles, but can still be a part of the board. It is a matter of finding balance and figuring out what works best for each community. Not every HOA works exactly the same way, and that’s okay. It is important to do the research and fully evaluate a situation before making a decision. Partnering with a property manager like Kuester can help HOAs to have more guidance and expertise in managing the community and its governance.