Most of the time, HOA board members can be counted on to do what’s best for a community and its residents. Even if a board member disagrees with the rest of the board or with a resident, you can usually safely assume that the board member is doing his or her best to make smart choices for the neighborhood.
Unfortunately, there are exceptions. Occasionally, a board may find itself with a member who has lost sight of what is best for the community. In some of these cases, the best course of action is for the board member to be removed.
How do I know if an HOA board member should be removed?
Disagreements or arguments are typical among HOA board members or between board members and homeowners. Typically, these day-to-day disagreements are not adequate cause for removing a member from the board.
That said, if another board member or a homeowner feels as though a board member is no longer acting in the best interests of the community, it may be time to consider further action.
While this should be considered on a case-by-case basis, some examples of circumstances that may lead to board member removal include:
- The board member not fulfilling their general or fiduciary duties
- A board member who is continually disruptive or excessively argumentative
- A board member who lies, cheats, steals, commits fraud, or is otherwise unethical
Who can remove an HOA board member?
Other board members or community homeowners can instigate removal proceedings if they feel it is necessary.
What is the process for removing an HOA board member?
The typical process for removing an HOA board member involves 5 key steps:
- Check the laws. Everything that happens within an HOA should be governed by the community’s laws. There should be laws outlined in your HOA’s governing documents that outline causes for board member removal and the actions that need to be taken.
Additionally, there may be state laws that apply to certain situations (such as theft or fraud), so if you are dealing with potential criminal action, research those guidelines as well. It may help to talk to an experienced attorney to help you navigate the situation.
- Initiate. Once you know the laws, you can begin the removal process in earnest. The first step is attending an HOA meeting, where you can voice your desire for the board member to be removed. You should alert the board to the problem in a civil and well-mannered way. It’s important to never let emotions or personal vendettas affect these proceedings. Stick to the facts to make your case. Remember that this is just an initial presentation of your concerns; a final vote on the matter will likely not be taken at this time.
- Petition. Now that you’ve made your case in a formal meeting, you can start to gather support from the community for the board member’s removal. Depending on your community’s specific laws or guidelines, support from a certain number or percentage of homeowners may be required before you can proceed. This show of support will help you present a strong final case for the board member’s removal.
- Meet. Now it’s time to schedule a meeting specifically to address the membership of the board member in question. Check your governing documents to determine the necessary circumstances for this meeting, including the people who need to be in attendance and what voting thresholds are required for removal. At the meeting, you’ll present your case and a vote will be taken.
- Replace. If the board member is indeed removed, it’s important to fill the vacancy on your board as quickly as possible. This will help you avoid too much disruption in daily operations. Research your community’s election guidelines in order to remain compliant.
Know your community
Your community and HOA laws will go a long way in informing you how to best remove an HOA board member. While the steps outlined here are general guidelines, it is always best to abide by your specific regulations, state laws, and the advice of your legal counsel when taking steps to remove a problematic board member.