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When You Can (and Can’t) Undo a Prior Board’s Actions

Often, associations wonder what leeway they have in regard to changing actions created by past boards. This can be difficult to navigate as you forge new paths that can benefit the community and the board overall. However, the most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to be trapped in old HOA habits. 

New boards can change whatever an old board did—except when owners have acted in reliance on those prior decisions.

The General Breakdown 

What’s the general rule for any board? They can undo a prior board’s action as long as it’s permissible under the agreed-upon bylaws or declaration. This is a big portion of making new decisions.

Example: If a board creates a particular policy on how they want to collect homeowner dues, but a new board comes in and disagrees, the new board has every right—as long as it’s a decision they can legally make—to undo that action. 

However, keep in mind that making many changes can confuse both the board and the homeowners. Slow changes are the best. But making significant changes in haste can cause confusion. So, keep that in mind.

How to Implement Changes

If you have a majority of the quorum of the board making a decision, it counts as a majority decision of the board.

Boards have the right or authority to adopt or amend rules and regulations as long as the majority agrees. This can include renovations, community improvements, vendors used, etc. 

What Can the Board Not Decide to Do?

If somebody did encroach onto another person’s property, that wouldn’t be a matter for the HOA. The board does not have limitless power. Legally, a board does not have the authority to allow one property owner to infringe on another’s property or set neighborhood boundaries, such as telling a homeowner, ‘You can go five feet on the neighboring property’s boundaries. It becomes a civil issue between the two homeowners.

This goes back to the importance of having a good board assembled so that situations like this do not happen.

If you need any more information or are just starting to get interested in your HOA, call us today! We can help you navigate the HOA waters.

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