Rent and Own text on paper with red pencil -- housing concept

Can we allow a renter to serve on the board?




Most Governing Documents require Board members to be owners. However, if there is no such language in an Association’s Governing Documents, then Board members can be renters or even non-residents.

Sara A. Austin
Austin Law Firm LLC
226 E. Market St.
York, PA 17403
717.846.2246 phone
717.846.2248 fax

There is an obvious question and an implied question here. The answer to the obvious question is that you need to look at your By-laws to determine the qualifications for nominees to the Board. Some By-laws do not require a director to be a shareholder or a shareholder affiliate. In that case the renter is free to serve. The implied question is whether having a renter on the Board is a good idea, presumably to bring a different perspective to Board matters. I see no benefit to having a renter serve on the Board. Most Boards can easily envision a renter’s point of view on matters affecting them. If the Board wants the opinion of someone other than an owner-occupant, the Board might consider adding an investor rather than a renter.

Kenneth Jacobs
Smith, Buss & Jacobs LLP
60 East 42nd Street
46th floor
New York, NY 10165
212-688-2400 X4102

That depends on the eligibility requirements for Board membership that have been established in the governing documents. Some eligibility requirements are fairly open. Developer drafted provisions tend to be that way. The developer may have wanted to appoint his mother in law to the board so restrictions on board eligibility would be limited. 

Bylaws may be drafted to limit eligibility for board membership. For example they may require that all board members must be members of the association and in good standing. The bylaws could contain a specific prohibition against tenants of co-owners serving on the board.

A careful review of the board eligibility provisions of the governing documents is warranted. That review will yield the answer to the question posed.

Edward Zelmanski
Zelmanski, Danner & Fioritto, PLLC
Attorneys at Law
44670 Ann Arbor Road, Suite 170
Plymouth, Michigan 48170
(734) 459-0062 Fax: (734) 459-5313

No. Must be a member.

David G. Hellmuth
Attorney at Law
P: (952) 746-2107
F: (952) 941-2337
8050 West 78th Street
Edina, MN 55439

You need to review the qualification of directors section of association’s by-laws. Some by-laws specifically require that a director must be an owner of a home. If your Association has such a qualification, then a renter cannot serve on the board. However, some by-laws do not contain this qualification in which case a renter, who complies with all of the other qualifications for a director, may serve on the board.

John H. Gettinger, Esq.
Shapiro Gettinger & Waldinger, LLP
118 North Bedford Road, P.O. Box 320
Mount Kisco, New York 10549-0320
Phone: (914) 595-1468



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