What Does “Good Standing” Mean?

By Jill Tsuchitori
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Can our association prevent owners who aren’t in “good standing” from attending board meetings and running for board seats? 

Some associations require that members be in “good standing” to serve on the board. Beyond serving important administrative and governance roles, board members are visible community members. Holding board members to community expectations sets an important standard. In addition, a board member who is already at odds with the association may run into conflicts of interest when considering similar issues facing other owners.

Restricting voting rights is less common. Understandably, some associations may be reluctant to do so because voting gives owners an important voice in the management and operation of their community. Voting restrictions are more often seen in planned associations than condominiums.

The definition of “good standing” varies and should be specifically stated in the governing documents. Commonly, it means that the owner’s account is current with no unpaid delinquencies. Questions can arise whether adherence to a payment plan for past delinquencies brings an owner into “good standing.” In addition, some associations adopt a broader definition to include covenant compliance.

If your governing documents don’t contain a “good standing” requirement for either voting or board membership, you may wish to consider amending them to include one or both. Important considerations include defining “good standing” and the impact of the restriction. Does “good standing” require that fees and assessments be paid in full? Is covenant compliance included? As to the practical impacts, consider whether the restriction will serve as a powerful incentive for members or unduly hamper the association’s ability to obtain the necessary votes.

Of course, you should consult with your association’s attorney about drafting an amendment or locating any existing restrictions in your governing documents.

For more information on board roles and responsibilities check out  Enforce, collect, and hire help: An association board’s biggest responsibilities.

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Jill Tsuchitori

Jill M. Tsuchitori is an attorney with Ekimoto & Morris in Honolulu.