Board Member Transition – How to Handle it

Board Member Transition Overview

It’s that time of year again—many Associations are having spring annual meetings, which means that board member turnovers are more frequent.  For a new member, it is essential for a smooth transition in order for him/her to effectively take on the tasks at hand.

If you are an outgoing board member or even if you’re not (eventually, someone will end up taking over for you), there are many things you should do during your tenure or right before a transition.

Many board members choose to compile a manual or binder of pertinent association information.   For example, you might have a binder that only contains management/vendor contracts, engagement letters, and invoices.  Another binder may be a compilation of meeting minutes throughout the years.  Executive session or privileged information should be kept separate in case members should request record inspection.  Depending on your officer status, you might have detailed accounting records or other documents that other board members don’t have copies of.

It’s always a good idea, regardless of your officer position, to have a basic manual with the following information:

  •  Association Manager contact information;
  •  Board Roster, including names, addresses, emails, phone numbers and term expiration dates;
  •   Resident list, including names, addresses, emergency contact info.;
  •   Copies of all recorded governing documents: Declaration, Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, ARC Guidelines and state statutes;
  •   Emergency information:  How to contact your property manager after-hours, on-call HVAC, plumbing and/or electric contractors;
  •   Board meeting minutes and resolutions for the previous 12 months;
  •    List of committees/members;
  •    Annual Budgets for the past 2 years;
  •    Copies of insurance policies and agent contact information;
  •    Directory of association contractors with contact information, current and past contracts;
  •    If your Association provides a newsletter to the membership, copies of the past year’s worth of newsletters;
  •    Any maintenance request forms, applications for ARC review, pool/party room request forms, etc.

As a general rule, any documents given to you when you became a board member should also be turned over to your replacement.  You may want to provide the new member with copies of the attorney’s association newsletters, seminar materials, or board member books, if you still have them.

If, for example, you are the treasurer, and are using software for billing that is licensed to the Association, those programs must be turned over to the new treasurer, as the program is Association property.  However, you may simply have an excel spreadsheet with fees, if so, email the records or put records on a flash drive.

If a board member is replaced and is a signatory on a bank account or has online access, make sure to go to the bank and change the signatories and passwords on the account.

In the same respect, if a board member has keys for the PO box or the clubhouse, make sure these items are turned over to the incoming board member.

In general, it will be helpful for the new board member to sit down with the outgoing board member to turn over documents and discuss any current situations.  Some boards will do this immediately following an annual meeting after officer positions are decided among the board.

If you notify us that your management company that you have a new board member, they may send the board member a “New Board Member Book” which specifies general duties of board members and touches on issues such as annual meetings, enforcement of governing documents, etc.