With the new law on term limits enacted in 2018, there has been some lack of clarity on terms and term limits for BOD members. What constitutes a term? And how exactly does the term limit affect a term?
Well, a term is simply the amount of time a BOD member serves on the board. For many HOAs and condo associations, 1 year Board terms or 2 year staggered Board terms are the standard. At the end of that term, the Board member must submit their name back into the bucket and be voted in, just as any other BOD member election would go.
The new provision in Florida law has now placed an 8 year limit on consecutive terms served and this is what is causing the confusion.
Florida Statutes §.Section 718.112(1)(d)2 reads as follows:
A board member may not serve more than 8 consecutive years unless approved by an affirmative vote of unit owners representing two-thirds of all votes cast in the election or unless there are not enough eligible candidates to fill the vacancies on the board at the time of the vacancy.
This does not change terms, but rather it simply takes into account a limit in the total years of consecutive terms served. Note that there are provisions in place for a member continuing on after 8 years.
Like many laws, there are pros and cons to an 8 year term limit.
- Like any position of power, there is a potential for abuse. If one particular Board member, or even the president is exercising their power in selfish or unfair ways, this term limit guarantees that they must step down at some point.
- Term limits also provide an opportunity for more association members to serve on the Board. With any good system, a diversity of voices is key to success. Term limits bring more voices to the Board.
- Sometimes finding new Board members is no easy task. If you constantly have to fill vacancies on the Board, this can prove problematic for some associations.
- Loss of certain members means a loss of knowledge and insight into some of the community’s operations. This knowledge can be difficult to transfer and a new Board member may be left floundering at the beginning of a new term.
To sum up, terms are simply the year or two that a BOD member agrees to serve, while term limits, according to the new statue, are based on consecutive years served.
We hope this has cleared up any confusion and now you know how terms work for your BOD. If you have any further questions, we are always here ready to listen.