National Alliance of HUD Tenants

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Creating By-Laws

Developing By-Laws

When your group is established you might want to consider developing By-Laws.

What are By-Laws? By-Laws are the rules that govern how your group operates, when you meet, how often, how officers are elected and removed, are there going to be dues, etc. Below you will find helpful information and a few links to help you develop your By-Laws.

Questions to Decide Before you Write Your By-Laws

The Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants has compiled a list of questions you should answer to write your by-laws. Click the link to read that section.

  • General Membership
    • Who is a member?
      • Any adult resident?
      • One per household?
      • Dues payers?
  • Meetings
    • Frequency
      • How often should the Board meet?
      • How often should the entire association meet?
    • Quorum
      • What number or percent of Board members must be present to conduct business (vote)?
      • What number or percent of general members must be present to conduct business (vote)?
    • Notice
      • How much written or verbal notice should be given before a meeting is properly called?
        • 3 days? 5 days?
        • Answer for different types of meetings – special, regular, annual
      • How must this notice be given?
      • Where should this notice be posted?
        • Under every door? In the mail? In common areas?
    • Call
      • Who is empowered to “call” a general meeting?
      • Who is empowered to “call” a Board Meeting?
        • The President/Board? A certain number of general members?
  • Vacancies & Removal of Board Members
    • How should vacancies be filled?
    • Should existing Board member be able to fill vacancies between Annual Meetings?
    • Are tenants who are also building representatives able to serve on the board?
    • How should board members be removed, including officers?
      • With or without cause?
      • By majority or 2/3 vote?
      • Any procedures for removal?
      • Removal for failing to attend 3 meetings without good cause?
  • Conflict of Interest
    • Management employees prohibited from membership?
    • If management employees may be members, are there any provision? Ex: Prohibiting management employees from serving on the Board? If so, for how long after employment?

Rules of Order 

What are Rules of Order and why do you need them?

Rules of Order help you decide how to conduct your meetings in a constructive way. Many organizations refer to Robert’s Rules of Order in their by-laws as their authoritative guide. Robert’s Rules of Order is a detailed guide to the Parliamentary Process. For a brief overview, review Bob’s Rules of Order.

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