Two New legislations affecting residents of Homeowners Associations that will begin in January 2020.
SB323 – NEW LEGISLATION AFFECTING BOARD OF DIRECTOR ELECTIONS AT HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATIONS
SB323(Wieckowski) is new legislation affecting the election of board of directors at homeowners associations. This legislation limits the right of an association’s membership to set qualifications for board of director candidates. In particular, the association may not specify that board members must have a certain level of education, experience or knowledge in order to be a board member. The legislation also prevents non-owners from serving on the board of directors.
Only owners may serve on the board of directors. Owners may be disqualified as a candidate for the board if (a) the owner has been an owner for less than one year, (b) a joint owner is on the board or is a candidate for the board, (c) the owner has a past felony conviction, or (d) the owner is delinquent in the payment of dues. The legislation prohibits an association from suspending an owner’s right to vote. The legislation requires the inspector of elections to be an entity or individual with no previous contractual relationship with the association.
This disqualifies managers, attorneys, and accountants who are currently employed by the association. The legislation requires the association to post the requirements for running for the board at least thirty days before the nomination deadline. Specifically, the association must post the list of candidates, the deadline for returning ballots, and the time and place of the annual meeting, at least thirty days before ballots are mailed. The legislation allows owners to review the signatures of all other owners on the outside mailing envelopes of the ballots and to copy voter lists, including the mailing addresses of the voters in an election. The legislation requires that the rules relating to the election must be adopted at least ninety days before an election. The legislation allows emails to be included in membership lists.
SB754 – NEW LEGISLATION ALLOWS LARGE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATIONS (5,000 OR MORE MEMBERS) TO CONDUCT ELECTIONS BY ACCLAMATION IN AN UNCONTESTED ELECTION
SB754 (Moorlach) allows homeowner associations with 5,000 or more members to be elected by acclamation, which means without counting the ballots, if the number of candidates does not exceed the number of open seats when nominations are closed. The legislation is designed to avoid the additional expense of counting the ballots.