Homeowners in our village, including myself, are disgruntled with the acts of the chairman of the board of trustees. We feel that his actions are no longer in line with the best interest of the village so we want to oust him. Can you please advise us on how we can do it? By the way, we are a duly registered association.
By saying duly registered, we are of the impression that your homeowners’ association is a non-stock, non-profit corporation registered with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), or one previously registered with the Home Insurance Guarantee Corporation (now Home Guaranty Corporation) or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as defined by Republic Act 9904, or “Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners’ Associations.” If this is the case, the same Magna Carta provides a remedy to address your concern.
Under the Magna Carta, a director/trustee may be removed for causes provided in the bylaws of the association through a signed petition of a simple majority of the association members in good standing. The petition shall be subject to verification and validation by the HLURB (Sec. 20 (d)). This provision of law contains three salient points:
First, the cause for removal must be stated or expressed in the bylaws of the association. The Magna Carta dictates that the bylaws of an association should provide the number, qualifications, powers and duties, terms of office and manner of electing and removing the board, as well as the grounds and procedure for removal of director or trustee and the manner of filling up vacancies in the board (Sec. 15(d) & (i)). Thus, you must refer to the bylaws of your association to determine the grounds that you may use to remove the chairman of the board.
Second, the removal must be done via a signed petition of a simple majority of the association members in good standing. Simple majority, as defined by the Magna Carta, means fifty percent (50 percent) plus one (1) of the total number of association members. (Sec. 3 (l)). Note, however, that the base to determine the majority would only include members in good standing, excluding delinquent members. Delinquent members are those who were declared by the board as such for failure to pay three (3) cumulative monthly dues, membership fees or other charges/assessment despite demand, or has repeatedly violated the association’s by-laws or declared policy, unless otherwise provided in the bylaws (Sec. 13, HLURB Board Resolution 877, S. 2011). Hence, you must ensure that the petition to remove the chairman of the board of your association is supported by the requisite number of votes as set forth above for your petition to gain ground.
Third, the removal from office is subject to verification and validation of the HLURB. In line with this rule, the Implementing Rules of the Magna Carta dictate that the duly signed petition, subscribed and sworn to before a notary public, shall be submitted to the Regional Office of the HLURB for purposes of verification and validation to determine whether the petition complies with the required formalities and based on any of the grounds or causes for removal provided under the by-laws, and whether the petition is signed by majority of the members of the association concerned based on its records (Sec. 65, HLURB Board Resolution 877, s. 2011).
If the Regional Office finds that the petition complies with all the requisites, the Regional Director/Officer shall issue an order validating the petition and the removal of the director or trustee. Otherwise, the petition will be dismissed (Sec. 65, HLURB Board Resolution 877, s. 2011).
We hope this opinion enlightened you on the matter. Please bear in mind that this opinion is based on the facts you narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary should actual facts and circumstances change.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com