By Will Van Vactor, J.D.
Can't think of any good reason to attend your HOA meeting? Think again.
Dates of HOA Meetings and Required Notice to Homeowners
The date of the annual meeting may change year to year, but you might be able to find it stated in your HOA’s governing documents. For instance, the bylaws might state something like, “The annual meeting is to take place on the third Saturday of every August.”
The board should provide an agenda to the members in advance of the annual meeting. The bylaws likely describe any notice requirements the board or manager must comply with in advance of the annual meeting, but state law often fills the void if bylaws are silent on the issue.
Except in the case of an emergency, the HOA must provide advance notice before holding a board meeting. For example, state law may require that notice of the meeting and agenda be posted in a common area, such as an entry hallway or community or mail room, three days before the meeting. The notice should be reasonably calculated to provide members an opportunity to determine what issues will be discussed and how important it really is for them to attend the meeting.
Quorums Are Usually Required for HOA Votes
The bylaws of HOAs usually require that votes at both regular board meetings and annual meetings be passed by a quorum of directors or members, respectively. A quorum is a certain percentage or number of total directors or homeowners who must be present at the meeting. The “quorum” will be defined in your HOA’s governing documents or by state law. Without a quorum, two unhappy members could potentially get together and make decisions that would affect the entire community.
Most associations allow members to vote by proxy. In other words, a member can tell another member how he or she wants to vote. That member will attend the meeting and vote the proxy in addition to the member's own vote. Proxy votes normally count toward quorums.5