Every homeowners association goes through board elections, but not all communities have the same exact procedures. One thing that remains common in most associations, though, is the need for an HOA candidate statement.
What Is an HOA Candidate Statement?
To put it simply, an HOA candidate statement introduces you as a candidate and what you can do for the community. It is a way to educate your fellow members on how you intend to address the different issues plaguing your association.
Candidate statements help you stand out as a candidate running for the board. But, they also function as an informative tool for voters. Not all associations organize a “Meet the Candidates” event, and those that do organize them don’t always see perfect attendance from members. An HOA board of directors candidate statement is how you can make your platform known.
What Should an HOA Candidate Statement Include?
Some homeowners associations provide a template that candidates can use to model their statements after. But, not all associations do this. So, how exactly should you write your HOA candidate statement? What details should you include?
In many ways, writing a candidate statement is similar to writing a resume for board candidacy. When crafting your own, remember to make the following items known:
- Who You Are. You should open your candidate statement with an introduction. Explain, in brief words, who you are. A bit of background on you, as a person, can really help form a connection with voters.
- Why You Qualify. Voters don’t want someone who clearly does not belong on the HOA board. To convince members that you are right for the job, make sure to outline your qualifications. What experiences or accomplishments make you the best person for the position?
- What You Intend to Accomplish. Lastly, the most basic candidate statements should include your goals. What plans do you have for the community? What are the issues you wish to address? It is a good idea to be as specific as you can here.
Sample HOA Board Candidate Statement
Now that you have an idea of what your statement should say, it is time to write one. But, you might still encounter difficulty finding the right words. To help you out, here is a sample HOA candidate statement:
Types of HOA Nomination of Candidates
There are a few different types of candidate nominations, and not all of them are used by all associations. To know what nomination procedure your association allows, it is important to check state laws and your governing documents. You might use a nomination procedure that your association does not permit. When that happens, you may end up having to void the nominations and redo the process from the beginning.
At the start of every election season, an HOA will normally call for candidate nominations. This usually involves distributing a notice or a “call for candidates” that includes nomination guidelines, candidate qualifications, and a deadline for submissions. Depending on state laws, an association must send this notice a specific number of days ahead of the deadline. For instance, in California, the notice period is 30 days.
Generally, there are three ways candidates can be nominated — through self-nomination, floor nominations, or write-ins. Let’s discuss each one further below.
For most homeowners associations, members have the ability to nominate themselves. In some states, the right to self-nominate is even protected by law.
For example, California Civil Code Section 5105 states that HOAs may not prohibit any member from submitting their own name as a candidate, provided they meet the candidate qualifications.
Although nomination procedures vary from association to association, most involve the use of an HOA board nomination form. This form will usually consist of an option to self-nominate. In other cases, though, an association might require members to write a letter of interest or fill out an application form. There is no universal format for this, but many HOAs provide a template you can follow.
Here is a sample statement of interest for a board position:
Some homeowners associations accept floor nominations for board candidates. It is worth noting, though, that California law does not require associations to allow floor nominations unless otherwise provided within the governing documents.
To carry out floor nominations, an association must first establish a quorum at the meeting. After doing so, the board president will open the floor for candidate nominations at the appropriate time. Members can then start nominating fellow members. Those who nominate candidates should be in good standing. Nominees, on the other hand, must possess the candidate qualifications. Interestingly, floor nominations need not be seconded, and the board president does not even need to recognize the member making the nomination.
Members who have already cast their votes prior to the floor nominations have a disadvantage. They can no longer vote for any candidate nominated from the floor at the meeting. This is because their ballot is considered irrevocable once they have already mailed it in and once the inspector of elections has already received it.
Similar to floor nominations, associations are not legally required by California law to allow write-in candidates. The exception, of course, is when an HOA’s governing documents require it. Additionally, if your governing documents permit floor nominations, there is a general understanding that write-ins are also allowed.
If your association does permit write-in candidates, then members can simply write down nominees directly on the ballot. These nominations are deemed valid even if they were not previously nominated through forms or the floor. If a write-in candidate garners enough votes to win a position on the board, then the association must get in touch with them to let them know of their victory. The candidate will then have the option to accept or reject the nomination.
Some governing documents, especially those belonging to older associations, don’t say anything about floor nominations and write-in candidates. This makes the nomination procedure rather messy come election season. If your governing documents are the same way, then perhaps it is time to amend them.
Sample HOA Board of Directors Nomination Form
Usually, when an association announces a call for candidates, it will include a nomination form along with the notice. Many associations also put up a copy of this form on their HOA website for instant access.
A Useful Tool for Your Campaign
When it comes down to it, an HOA candidate statement is an essential asset to your campaign. It familiarizes voters with you as a candidate and lets them know what you stand for. Election season can grow competitive, especially for larger associations with members in the thousands. But, an effective candidate statement can set you apart from the rest.
Managing board elections can come as a challenge. Make the job a breeze with the help of an HOA management company like Cedar Management Group. Call us today at (877) 252-3327 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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