I have some issues with how our association is maintaining many of the common areas throughout our community, but it is nearly impossible for me to address my concerns because the board of directors only holds one meeting per year.
How often do most HOA boards regularly meet? Are there a required number of times per year a board of directors is supposed to meet? Outside of a board meeting, what is the best way to voice my concerns?
— Trey D.
Thank you for the question, Trey. The number of times an association’s board of directors is required to meet is typically set forth in the association’s governing documents, more specifically, the association’s bylaws.
Most bylaws require either monthly or quarterly meetings. In the absence of language in the association’s bylaws requiring a specific number of board members per year, I believe boards are required by California law to hold at least one open session board meeting per quarter.
Although there is not a specific civil code dictating the specific number of times a board of directors is to meet annually, Civil Code 1365.5 requires that an association’s board of directors review reconciled operating and reserve financial statements, actual reserve revenues and expenses and bank statements at least once per quarter.
In order for the board to meet this legal requirement, it must hold a meeting where a quorum of the board is present.
Association boards are permitted to hold executive session board meetings, closed to the membership, but only to discuss and consider topics related to litigation, third party contracts, member discipline, personnel matters or to meet with a member upon request.
Because reviewing association financials does not fall under any of the topics permitted to be discussed in an executive session meeting, the required quarterly meetings to review the association’s fiscal matters must be open-session board meetings, properly noticed at least four days prior to the meeting and open to the homeowners.
Pursuant to the Common Interest Development Open Meeting Act (Civil Code 1363.05), any member of the association may attend an open session board meeting and the board shall allow members time to speak and address their concerns. The time allotted by the board for a homeowner to speak may be limited and should be established by the board of directors prior to the meeting.
The association’s board of directors is elected by the membership to set procedures and policies with the responsibility and authority to operate the association on behalf of its owners. Board members have a fiduciary relationship with the association and are therefore required to act in the best interest of the community.
I feel strongly that in order to effectively operate, the board of directors must understand the will of the homeowners, and, therefore, are obligated to provide a forum for homeowner input. Associations with monthly or bi-monthly meetings provide a regular opportunity to owners to address concerns and provide feedback.
In addition, many associations employ a professional management company to service the association and its owners, conveying feedback and information to the board of directors between meetings.
Many management companies are also able to offer products and services such as custom community websites, online work orders systems to effectively address maintenance concerns and customer service professionals, all of which service owners and allow for feedback between scheduled meetings.
Respectfully request that your association’s board of directors meet more regularly and provide time for a homeowner forum. As members of the association you have the right to be heard and as elected representatives, board members should appreciate and encourage owner feedback and participation.