HOA Board meetings can sometimes get pretty heated in homeowners associations. As a Board member it is important that you work toward keeping meetings orderly and flowing smoothly. Yet, there are times when meetings get stormy. In these eventful times try to stay calm and be a voice of reason for the Board.
Issues that can intensify meetings
Well, no one said that serving on your HOA Board was going to be a picnic. It's just human nature that makes things get heated at something like a Board meeting. This isn’t always a bad thing because it allows for open discussion to take place however, it’s a good idea to be aware of the issues that arise and cause some of the most intense discussions. Here are some common issues that tend to make some Board members angry in meetings:
This probably goes without saying but money is probably going to be an issue at some point in your Board dealings. This is just human nature. Some members are going to want to save; others to spend. Some might want to take a middle of the road approach. At times these different views are going to create tension and tempers can flare. When maintenance has been deferred or the repair/replacement needs greatly exceed what was projected in the reserve study, the association may need to consider a loan. This scenario can also lead to heated discussion and disagreement. If a loan is decided against, then Boards must consider substantial assessment increases or special assessments in order to get the needed work done. When looking at a 20% increase, members may have strong and conflicting opinions. Meetings can get pretty animated when money is discussed.
Dues and fees issues
As a Board you and your group are going to have to tackle issues dealing with non-payment of dues and fees at times. Chances are that at least some members of the Board will know the affected party. There may be some Board members willing to throw the book at the non-payer while others may want to work with the homeowner. Bitter discussions can result from this and members often get mad.
It seems an HOA Board is always going to have problems with homeowners and parking related to them or their guests. Many issues arise here and most are not real easy to solve. Again, some members will take a more pragmatic view of the issue while others will want to follow the letter of the law closely. Passions often shoot up on an issue like parking, making some meetings quite eventful.
Often the issue of heated meetings will just be the personalities of some of the Board members. They just may not like each other for some reason. This dislike will often spill over at meetings with snide comments and other actions that will inflame the affected member and even other Board members. This is just the way people are sometimes and your Board may have to learn to deal with members who don't like each other.
Your HOA board still has to govern
HOA Board meetings often get heated. Homeowners association issues and differing personalities can all conspire to make meetings cantankerous. This is often just a result of human nature.
The larger issue is not that you have heated meetings at times. The bigger concern is how your Board handles these meetings. Be prepared for these common issues that could come up, and have a productive Board meeting and stable and peaceful Board members.