Can husband and wife serve on same HOA board?

Q. I am on the board of a condo association, and we will be having our annual meeting and board elections soon.

We have a husband and wife who own several units. Both are on the ballot to be on the board of directors.

Can both the husband and wife be elected and serve on the board?

A: Your HOA’s bylaws should have a section that describes what qualifications a person must have to serve on the board of directors. Some bylaws require that directors be members of the HOA (in other words, a homeowner). Some require that directors be residents of the state. Some have few or no qualifications.

Unless your bylaws have a provision which states that spouses or co-owners of a condo cannot serve simultaneously on the board of directors, then they both may run for and serve on the board.

Delinquent owner’s voting right

 Q. In your Feb. 25 column, you said that an association can suspend privileges or services to homeowners who are delinquent in payment of their assessments. Does this mean that these nonpaying homeowners could be prohibited from running for a board seat? Our bylaws indicate that they cannot vote at annual meetings.

A: As stated above, your bylaws should have a section that sets out qualifications for directors.

Some HOA bylaws have a provision that says only members “in good standing” may serve on the board. While North Carolina’s corporate and HOA laws do not define “good standing,” it is generally interpreted to mean that a member has no outstanding violations of the community’s covenants, bylaws, or rules/regulations, and that he is current in payment of his assessments.

As for suspension of an owner’s voting rights, I believe voting rights are different from the “community services and privileges” that can be suspended in accordance with the HOA laws in this state.

I view voting in member meetings as a right, not a privilege. However, if your HOA bylaws specifically allow for voting rights to be suspended for nonpayment of assessments, then you have the right to do so. I would still recommend that the owner be given an opportunity to be heard before the board before his voting rights are suspended.

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“Ask The Experts” Articles have been Reprinted with permission from the Charlotte Observer

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