Resigning from your HOA Board? Don't Make these 5 Mistakes!

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Resigning from your HOA board can be a harrowing but sometimes necessary decision. There may be many reasons for your resignation, but no matter your logic, you should know how to resign properly.

Here are five mistakes to avoid so that you can cordially step down from your board before your term is up.

Mistake 1: Walking away from projects where you may have liability.

Even though you may be resigning, it is usually best to finish any and all projects that you began or were initiated while you were on the board. This common courtesy can show the board and community that you still care without committing yourself to any further projects.   Keep in mind that some HOA’s have liability contracts that bind you to the projects and actions you made while on the board. Be aware of these potential consequences before you consider resigning.  

Mistake 2: Resigning impulsively.

There could be a thousand different situations in which you might resign, but think about taking a moment to reflect on why exactly you are leaving. Is it unavoidable because you are selling your unit? Is there tension among board members? Do you disagree with a group decision that has been made? Is it an issue that can be raised with your HOA’s president?  If it’s an avoidable resignation, try to exhaust all mediation and conflict resolution options before making your final decision.

Mistake 3: Neglecting to inform the entire HOA board.

Don't let board members find out that you are resigning through gossip. Your fellow board members deserve to know that you are leaving so that preparations can be made.  An announcement in your next board meeting is almost always the appropriate way to break your departure to your neighbors.  This allows your fellow board members to ask questions regarding your exodus.  Remember that whether or not you are on the board, these people are your acquaintances and neighbors and will continue to be your acquaintances and neighbors after you resign.  It’s usually best to leave a good impression with them.

Mistake 4: Not putting your resignation in writing.

Make sure you have a resignation letter that complies with your CC&Rs. Review the format of your resignation letter. Everyone’s resignation is different, and should be treated likewise. Decide the best way to handle inquisitions about your withdrawal, and write up the notice that will go out to the entire HOA. Think about also using a template for your letter to make it more professional. Send the letter to your HOA members. Whether you do it electronically in an email or on paper in your newsletter, your HOA members deserve to know that you are resigning. As stated above, be professional and answer questions that residents may have. Your board can also take this opportunity to advertise a vacancy on the board to anyone who may be willing to fill your spot.

Mistake 5: Resigning in anger.

Resignations are often emotional. Resignations are sometime in protest of board decisions or even personal offenses. Anger may be a natural reaction, but it almost never serves your purposes in the long run. Resigning from the board often removes and power that you did have to advocate for your position. Anger can tempt you into breaking confidentiality agreements or breaking other rules that can result in legal action against you. Also, unless you are moving, you and your family still have to live in the community, and creating tension and stress between your neighbors can reduce your quality of life.

The utmost care and consideration should be taken into account when resigning from an HOA board, especially if the cause was an internal personality problem. Be courteous to your fellow board members, neighbors, and community by giving them a heads-up and distributing the notice accordingly. Other board members should keep in mind that resignations could indicate problems or issues inside the community or inside the board. If you are on the board when another member leaves, attempt to remedy any contention before a new member is placed in office.

This article contains general information. Individual situations are unique; please, consult your attorney, accountant or other professional before utilizing any of the information contained in this article.

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Source: Neighborhood Link - Sabrina Robinson
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