Should Your Community Association Enforce Board Member Term Limits?:
Deciding whether our HOA should enforce term limits on board members is not always an easy decision to make. Moreover, many states have laws in place that either requires board members to have a term limit on their services or prohibit HOA/community organizations from setting term limits on board members. Knowing the laws in your state is a very important first step to understanding what term limits you can enact on your board members. You also want to know if the term limits that you are setting are against the laws in your state.
What Are the Pros and Cons to Board Member Term Limits?
Just as is the case with anything, there are both pros and cons to limiting board member service terms in your HOA/community organization. Once you know the laws in your state, determining the ups and downs of implementing term limits in your community should be considered.
The following are both some pros and cons to determining if you should limit the terms of the board members in your community.
Pros to Implementing Board Member Term Limits:
The following are some pros to limiting the amount of time that a board member can serve on the board of the HOA/community organization in your community:
- Prevents one person from becoming dominant in controlling what happens in the community.
- Help keep new members bringing new ideas to the board.
- Allows more community members to be part of the board and contribute new ideas to their community. The more people that contribute new, fresh ideas to the community, the more a community is a reflection of everyone.
- Increases the appeal of holding a position on the board if the person knows that their commitments end in a couple of years. Some people want to serve but don't want to be locked into a new commitment long-term or for life.
- Brings fresh perspectives to the board regularly.
- Brings in different skills, knowledge, and expertise to the board with new members regularly joining the board.
- Allows members to avoid burnout and remain passionate about the community and people they serve.
These are some pros to consistently having new members join the board regularly.
Cons of Implementing Board Member Term Limits:
The following are cons to limiting the amount of time that board members can serve on the board of the HOA/community organization in your community:
- It can create a problem if no one steps up to fill a vacant position on the board.
- It can cause a board to lose a highly effective and knowledgeable member who served as well and enjoyed their role in helping the community.
- It will take time for a new board member to adopt plus learn their role.
- More turnover can mean more board members who are not interested in the job or are not fully vested in the position they have been elected to fill.
- Sometimes it's hard to convince new board members to sign up for the job at hand. It may not be easy to always have someone to replace an existing member.
- It can cause some boards to lose momentum on a big project or concept they were working on for the community if an essential board member leaves during the project's timeline.
These are some cons to consistently having new members join the board regularly.
What is an "Average" Length of a Term for an HOA Board Member?
The average length of a term for a board member can vary by HOA/community organization. Generally, limiting board members to two or three terms is customary. Most term limits will last between 2 and 4 years.
However, reading the laws in your state and knowing what limits your state puts on HOA/community organization board members is the first step to setting your own board term limits in place.
There are both pros and cons to determining if board term limits are right for your HOA/community organization. While following state laws, determining what is best for your HOA board member's term limits is up to each association to decide. For more information on how to set board limits in place in your HOA/community organization, please feel free to contact us for further assistance.