Who is Candidate in HOA or Condo Election?

I had a couple of questions come in about qualifying a candidate for an election. It seemed one was from a board member and one was from an owner – possibly in the same association?

See if you can guess which is from whom? And check out the answers.

Question: If a candidate for election to a HOA Board declines to include his/her mailing address in the application, does this infringement preclude that candidate for consideration?”

Answer: How would the association know what unit you own if you do not provide the address? If candidates do not need to be owners per the governing documents, it would still be of interest to the board and association members what your “affiliation” is with the association (in other words, what interest you are representing) and the board would have a right to a mailing address in order to be able to contact you.

So, I would presume the board would have a right to ask for the information and would wonder why an owner would not be willing to provide an address. Of course, if the board had plans to publish an address to the members in the candidates’ statements, a candidate might be justified in their concern if privacy was an issue – and the candidate did not want people coming to his or her door. As an aside, any HOA or condo owner in California does have a right to ask for a list of members’ names and addresses for a valid purpose (such as a desire to communicate with other owners).

Other Question: “We have an upcoming election with a person running for a board member position and he will not disclose which unit is his. His mother owns [several] units and he manages them. We do not know if he is [an owner or manager of the properties or a party to a trust]. We think we have a right to ask.

I appreciate any light you can shed on this for us!”

The board is entitled to ask for proof of ownership of any candidate if being an owner is a requirement to run for the board. So the board could ask for a deed and if owned by a trust or business, the underlying documents that might establish rights of pertinent parties. The board might need help from an attorney in analyzing who is entitled to exercise membership rights under the documents provided. If non-members can serve on the board and there are no specified qualifications for candidates that is a different story, as obviously, there would be no proof of ownership required in that situation.

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