An Effective Strategy for Dealing with “Out-of-Control” Board Members

It is not uncommon for homeowners associations to have certain volunteer members that appear to have control over the entire operations of their homeowners association. This typically occurs when such members have been elected to the board of directors year after year. In addition, those people are frequently elected, or reelected, to an office such as the president of the association, thereby placing him or her in a position of yielding a great deal of influence over the association. While this situation is more prevalent in smaller homeowners associations that have more difficulty getting volunteer members to run for board positions, it also occurs in larger associations. Frequently, the net effect of such a situation is that the board member and/or officer becomes more like a sheriff who thinks that he or she unilaterally runs the association, and can quickly turn into an out of control HOA board. While other board members may have different thoughts about how the association should operate, they are frequently intimidated and stifled by the actions of the sheriff and as a result, are reluctant to stand up to him, or her, thereby perpetuating the situation.

Allowing assertive individuals to gain control over your homeowners association can be very damaging to the association. Aside from discouraging other members from becoming involved in the operations of the association, it promotes continued operations that may not be properly authorized and/or are in violation of laws and the association’s governing documents. Homeowners associations must be controlled by the collective action of their board of directors and not one individual that appears to have taken control because he or she has occupied a position of power within the association for a long period of time and no one else has been willing to challenge them.

Associations that are experiencing issues due to an out of control HOA board have different options on how to regain control and put an end to the unilateral decision making and acts of one person that are not authorized by the collective action of a majority of the directors. In situations where the association has specific qualifications for their directors that are contained in the association’s governing documents, the board may:

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