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What If a Board Member Wants to Resign?

So, you have a board member who wants or needs to resign?

Depending on the situation there could be lots of emotions (or even accusations) flying around. The board member could have resigned for completely understandable personal reasons or there could have been major drama that led to a fiery confrontation. We hope that the situation is amicable but we’ve also seen a number of these developments. Regardless of the scenario, we want to help assure a peaceful transition and address some matters that need to be taken care of.

The fact is, board membership in an HOA or condo association is a volunteer position. It’s not always the easiest position to take on and it can often be thankless work. For these reasons and more, regardless of the reason for resignation, your resigning board member should get the utmost respect and thanks for the job they have performed.

A resignation and the subsequent transition works best when it’s started off on the right foot. The following is a list of tips that can ensure that when a board member resigns the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Understand how vacancies work before they happen

Knowledge is always one of our best resources. It’s important to know what your governing documents say about filling a board position and what happens in the case of resignation. If you need a legal opinion on vacancies it’s always best to get it before someone resigns so you’re not left in a BOD purgatory.

Resignation in writing

It’s important that the board member’s resignation is documented. One of the best ways is to include it in the BOD member meeting minutes. A written letter can also suffice.

Return of association property

Create a list of property that needs to be returned so it can all be inventoried and documented. General documents or inventory that any community member could have access to do not need to be returned. The focus, instead, should be on private and confidential association documents and property.

Ongoing project liability

Some HOAs and condo associations have contracts that bind specific board members to projects and actions they made on the board. Examine these contracts carefully. If you need to get an expert eye, hire a community law attorney.

Establishing a quorum

One of the interesting things that may happen with a resignation is that it can tip the scales on a BOD so a quorum can no longer be established. The definition of a quorum can change depending on an association’s governing documents, but it is usually a 51% director participation. Not having enough directors on the board to meet a quorum could keep the BOD from making decisions or conducting important business.

Filling the position

No matter the motive for resignation, that position will need to be filled ASAP. In this blog we offer 6 tips for recruiting new BOD members. Read further for more details, but those 6 tips are:

1. Redirection

2. Education

3. Be a Source of Information

4. Talent Management

5. Open Board Meetings

6. Short-term and Low Commitment Appointments

In any situation where a BOD member resigns it is important to put personal feelings and motives aside to focus on what’s best for the community. Use these tips to manage the resignation and member transition diplomatically and effectively.

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