Whether you’re out of town or out of commission, you can still attend the homeowners association board meetings by tuning in online. This is not to be confused with a meeting via email - this is not allowed.
Per Civil Code §4910(b) HOA boards “shall not conduct a meeting via a series of electronic transmissions, including, but not limited to, electronic mail.” In other words, unless there is an emergency, a board meeting cannot take place via email.
Attending Meetings Electronically
There is another option for attending, where the directors can electronically participate in real-time. HOA board members who cannot be physically present at a board meeting can attend electronically by telephone or video. As long as any absent director can hear all other board members, and all other board members can hear the absent director, it’s the same as if the director were actually present at the meeting.
If the Association has the capability it can also let the members attend in this manner. Homeowners have the right to attend any open board meeting and they can also attend electronically.
The notice of the electronic meeting must identify at least one physical location where owners may attend, perhaps the management company’s office or the Association clubhouse. A person designated by the board must also be present at that physical location. HOA board members must be able to hear one another as well as members of the Association who wish to speak on matters before the board.
There are multiple online meeting tools (Skype, GoToMeeting, Zoom) which allow board members and residents to hear each other through microphones and speakers and to see each other through video cameras regardless of where everyone is located. You’ll be able to follow all of the action virtually.
Tips to Follow No Matter How You're Attending
Whether you’re physically present or calling in for the meeting, all participants should:
- Be professional, courteous and considerate
- Avoid rustling papers or creating other noise if near a microphone
- Refrain from talking when others are speaking
If you’re calling in:
- Announce yourself before talking
- Mute your phone unless you’re talking and especially if there is background noise, such as a barking dog, at your location
You’re still encouraged to join the homeowners association meetings in person, but if you can’t, there might be other options to follow the proceedings. If this is something that your HOA board would be interested in, you should talk to your manager about including the cost of web conferencing in the Association's budget and make attendance free to all participants.