B.D. from Maryland writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our bylaws state that a board member must be an owner. Can both a husband and wife who jointly own a condo be on the Board of Directors?
Mister Condo replies:
B.D., the short answer is “it depends”. There are two places to check to see if a husband and wife (or any unit owners that own a partial share of a unit) can serve on your Board. Take a look at your bylaws to see if there is a one Board member per unit rule. It is not common but it may be there. If the only requirement to serve on the Board is that the volunteer is a unit owner, and both owners are listed on the deed, then there is nothing in your documents that would prohibit both owners from serving at the same time. The second place to look is your state laws on community associations. Again, it would be uncommon for a state law to prohibit the practice but it is worth asking a locally qualified attorney for their opinion. As a matter of practice, I would prefer that no more than one of the owners from any single unit have the power to sway or control votes as it could lead to a conflict of interest. However, if there are no other volunteer interested in serving on the Board and both spouses continue to get reelected, I don’t see any reason they can’t serve. Good luck!