J.B. from Tennessee writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
If the spouse of a home-owning resident is not on the title of a condo, do they have any rights to vote, influence community decisions separate from the spouse at Board meetings, or hold office if a requirement is to be a homeowner?
Mister Condo replies:
J.B., typically not but your governing documents will answer the question more thoroughly. Owners of record are shareholders in the corporation that is the HOA. If your name isn’t on the deed, you typically don’t have any standing within the corporation and, therefore, no vote. This person is a resident and has the rights of a resident to use the facilities and the peaceable enjoyment of the community. It is possible that a non-owner may have rights bestowed upon them via proxy of the unit owner. In this case, the spouse would give up his/her rights in lieu of the other spouse using those rights. Serving on the Board is another matter entirely. Your governing documents dictate who may hold office and it is almost always a homeowner within the association. If you are not already using Roberts Rules of Orders to conduct your Board Meetings, I might suggest it to be good practice. That allows the Board President to keep order and limit who can speak. Residents and other non-homeowners are allowed to observe but they do not have a voice in any discussion nor do they have a vote to cast when items come up for a vote. That might help cure this particular problem. All the best!