Ideally, the board is what keeps the HOA operating smoothly and effectively. They are the ones evaluating, enforcing, creating, and modifying rules, though often with input from members. Due to the high demands of this volunteer role, it’s important to have the right people in place who are working within the best interest of the community.
This often brings up the question of whether there should be limits on the number of terms a board member can serve, especially if they are an officer. There is no easy answer, and it can vary from association to association and state to state. Here is a look at some of the pros and cons of enacting term limits:
- It encourages members to step up knowing that they will only be serving for a set amount of time; plus, they also know that they have a chance because current board members will soon turn over.
- It brings fresh ideas and perspectives to the board. When the same people are in charge for too long, they may be more resistant to change and simply want to keep things how they are.
- It can make it easier to deal with a board member who rules with an iron fist or does not get along as well with the rest of the team because their time is limited.
- It creates a sense of order and routine because new members are elected at set intervals (unless someone would step down or be removed before their term was up).
- It can take new board members time to adjust and really learn the ropes, so they may need more than one term to settle in and make an impact. Limiting their service means they may not accomplish as much as they could.
- It can force a great board member to step down just because their time is up, even if they would like to continue serving and are good at what they do. Having someone with a strong history and wealth of knowledge from serving on the board can be beneficial.
- It can be difficult to recruit new board members to fill vacant seats. If positions aren’t filled, this can make it challenging for the board to do its job.
- It can cause the board to lose momentum on projects or initiatives because they have to catch new members up and figure out how to work best together.
Enacting term limits is not something that should be taken lightly. It is a decision that the HOA should make very carefully and thoughtfully after weighing all of the pros and cons. Some alternative options would be to increase the length of each term from two years to six or eight years, to stagger start and end dates for different positions so the entire board is not turning over at once, or to only put limits on officer roles and allow individuals to continue serving as a director.
Working with a property management company like Kuester can help HOAs learn more about board leadership, term limits, and how to work within the best interest of their community. Contact us today for more information and to expand the board’s resources when making decisions.