Every association has different HOA board election rules that depend on their state laws, community CC&Rs, and bylaws. To guide you in the basics, IKO gives a general outline of Maryland laws from Thomson Reuters Westlaw:
Requirements. All Maryland associations are required to adopt election rules that comply with the following:
- A meeting of homeowners association members to elect a governing body shall be held within:
- 60 days from the date that at least 75% of the total number of lots that may be part of the development after all phases are complete are sold to members of the public for residential purposes; or
- If a lesser percentage is specified in the governing documents of the homeowners association, 60 days from the date the specified lesser percentage of the total number of lots in the development after all phases are complete are sold to members of the public for residential purposes.
- The notice to lot owners includes the following provisions:
- Before the date of the meeting, the declarant shall deliver to each lot owner notice that the requirements of the subsection of this section have been met.
- The notice shall include the date, time, and place of the meeting to elect the HOA governing body.
- The terms of each member of the HOA governing body appointed by the declarant shall end 10 days after the meeting is held, if a replacement HOA board member is elected.
- Each member of the HOA governing body must be delivered the following documents within 30 days from the date of the meeting held:
- Deeds to common areas
- Copies of HOA filed articles of incorporation, declaration, and all recorded covenants, plats, restrictions, and any records of the primary and related developments
- A copy of the bylaws and rules of the primary and related developments as filed in the county depository in which the development is located
- Minute books
- All books and records of the homeowners association, including financial statements, meeting minutes, and completed business transactions
- Any policies, rules, and regulations adopted by the governing body
- HOA finances from the date of creation to the date of transfer of control, including budget information of estimated and actual expenditures and any reserves report required for major repairs and replacement of common areas
- A copy of all contracts to which the homeowners association is a party
- Name, address, and telephone numbers of any contractor or subcontractor employed by the homeowners association
- Any insurance policies in effect
- Any permit or notice of code violations issued by county, local, state, or federal governments
- Any warranty in effect and all prior insurance policies
- Operating funds, replacement reserves, investment accounts, and working capital
- Tangible property
- Roster of current lot owners, including mailing addresses, telephone numbers, and lots
- Individual member files and records, including assessment account records, correspondence, and violation notices
- Drawings, architectural plans, or other documents setting forth the necessary information for location, maintenance, and repairs of all common areas
- Contracts are an agreement with a company or individual to handle HOA finances, maintenance, or services. It doesn’t include an agreement relating to the provision of utility services or communication systems.
Until all members of the governing body are elected by lot owners at a transitional meeting, any contracts relating to HOA finances, maintenance, or services may be terminated at the discretion of the governing body and without liability, no later than 30 days after notice.
- If the declarant fails to comply with the requirements of this section, an lot owner may submit the dispute to the Division of Consumer Protection of the Office of the Attorney General.
Remember: These exact codes are for Maryland HOAs and are meant to serve as an example for individual states. Each state has similar accommodations for elections, and failure to abide by this code could result in a void of all election results.
All associations adopt written election rules that integrate language from their own CC&Rs and bylaws. These HOA election rules should loosely contain the following:
- Procedures for nominations
- Rules for access to association media and common area meeting space during campaigns
- Ballot procedures
- Procedures for candidate nomination and for uncontested and recall elections
Applicable Elections. As provided by your state’s code, applicable elections may include the following:
- Election of directors
- Removal of directors
- Special assessments
- Amendments to the CC&Rs and bylaws
- Grants of exclusive use common areas
Voting. To save time and money, many HOA boards do mail and electronic elections.
Amendment Of Rules. It’s possible to amend election rules, but HOAs are required to follow their state’s rule amendment process.
For more information about HOA elections, download our guide: