The transition from one board member to another in the wake of resignation can generate some unexpected hardships for associations.
Board members can resign for any reason (in most states), but we see the following reasons most often:
- Unable to perform HOA duties due to life circumstances
- Moving out of the community
- Personality conflicts within the Board of Directors
Regardless of the reason board members resign, it can cause a chain of events that makes certain administrative decisions necessary. We recommend associations create a plan for a potential board member’s resignation before it happens.
For more information on how to create a smooth board member transition process regardless of circumstances, check out our tips below:
- Remain positive about the change when speaking to homeowners. As the association’s leaders, how the board responds publicly regarding the situation will determine how the membership perceives the situation.
Ultimately, the board relaying all news positively will help ensure a smooth transition.
Create formal policies for handling board member resignations. When drafting these procedures, consider including the following:
- How the resignation affects their fiduciary duties. (While rare, board members will not be able to resign if it affects the HOA in a significantly negative way.)
- When and how resignations become effective.
- Any laws that are relevant to an HOA board member’s resignation.
- The steps the board should take immediately following the resignation.
Create a checklist of everything that needs to happen immediately following the resignation. This is crucial to ensuring that your association continues to operate smoothly. Some things to include on your checklist include:
- Removing the resigning board member from email lists.
- Which officer should oversee collecting relevant board documents and materials (and have a list containing which documents).
- Ways to restrict digital access to confidential materials.
- Change any relevant email address information (including adding a redirect, if necessary).
Update website information.
Announce the new board member’s appointment in the same press release as the old board member’s resignation. While it’s not always feasible to make both announcements at the same time, doing so is considered a best practice and can make the change feel positive in members’ minds.
Request a written resignation if one is given verbally. Written resignations ensure that a paper trail exists listing the reasons for the departure, the date of the resignation, and to consolidate information in case there are any legal hiccups. A written resignation offers both parties legal protection and creates a clear record.
- Consider allowing a board member to rescind their resignation if given orally. Sometimes things can be said in the heat of the moment, and, in most cases, keeping the leadership consistent is in the HOA best interest.
Depending on the state you live in, your options may be more limited if the resignation is made official.
Regardless, if a resignation is given orally, written, or both, it is legally required in most states for the board to formally accept the resignation at the next board meeting. It is considered a best practice to only appoint the new board member after the previous board member’s resignation is formally accepted.
Examine the board member’s reasons for resigning. Depending on the circumstances of the resignation, it may be difficult to move forward constructively without first resolving the issues that led to the resignation. Common reasons for resignations that often require solutions include:
- Duties that are so extensive they require a large time commitment.
- No purpose on the board.
- Interpersonal challenges between board members.
If you believe that the reason for the resignation is a chronic issue, we recommend you touch base with your association manager to discuss ways to alleviate the problem.
- Check quorum requirements. If your board can make quorum without adding an additional board member, you’ll want to thoroughly discuss the pros and cons of replacing the board member versus allowing the position to remain unfilled.
We hope these tips have been helpful! We know board cohesion is a crucial component to a well-managed HOA, so we take great care to provide helpful information on issues that are likely to make board leadership challenging. If you have more questions or concerns about how you can take your HOA leadership to the next level, consider signing up for our free trial!