HOA Board Member Behaving Badly? Know How and When to Discipline
You may be surprised to learn that you and your fellow volunteers can
be disciplined for your behavior as members of the board of directors
of your homeowners association or condominium association. Here we
explain when it's appropriate for boards to consider disciplining their
fellow board members, along with the possible range of action they can
Boards are Good Police Officers
serving as an HOA board member is voluntary, it's a real commitment,
and most board members treat it that way. "Boards do get involved and
help police the activities of their fellow board members both within
board meetings as well as when a rogue board member tries to take
liberties without including the other board members in his actions,"
says Lori Burger, CPM, CCAM, CAM, senior vice president and director of
Eugene Burger Management Corp., a Rohnert Park, Calif.–based company
that manages about 20,000 condo and HOA units; Burger is also the 2013
secretary/treasurer of the Institute of Real Estate Management, a
professional organization of property managers. "Boards take their jobs
as board members very seriously and are pretty good overall in the area
Though there are few formal disciplinary actions boards can take to
slap the hands of their fellow members, they do exist. Some states and governing documents have automatic sanctions for board members' improper behavior.
"I've seen some association documents that say if board members fail to attend a certain number of meetings, they're automatically removed from the board," says Matthew Zifrony,
who advises homeowners and condo associations at Tripp Scott, a Ft.
Lauderdale law firm, and who's also served as the president of a
3,000–home association. "That's a form of discipline. There are also
statutes in Florida where if board members become delinquent on
maintenance fees, they're automatically removed from the board. Those
both provide a level of discipline. But the real action that can be
taken against board members is being recalled or not being elected again if they run during the next election."