Does your HOA board dread the annual meeting because it’s boring, no one shows up, and it seems completely and utterly pointless? If so, your Board is not alone. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, the annual meeting in your homeowners association can actually be – dare we suggest – fun?!
Have you ever been to a Board meeting that was equivalent to going to the circus? You know the type. Everyone clowning around, trying to out-perform the other to get their point noticed. Pencils and papers flying through the air as if they were popcorn and peanuts. The tension in the air when an important issue is being discussed feels thicker than watching a tightrope walker. Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite that bad, but you get the idea. The kind of meeting you leave feeling like you put out more fires caused by the jugglers flaming batons than made onlookers smile and leave happy.
Whether your homeowners association operates on the calendar year or fiscal year, now is a good time to set a date for your annual HOA board meeting if you haven’t already done so. Annual meetings are a common best practice to keep members informed and get them involved. You may be thinking that it’s going to be a waste of time because the majority of members don’t come to any meetings. There’s no doubt that this is one of the most challenging parts of planning the meeting, but there are ways to encourage members to attend.
When you hear the word “meeting” do you want to run in the other direction? We’ve all been in meetings that drag on and on, feel like a waste of time because nothing gets accomplished, or are outright exhausting because board members spend the time arguing with each other. What if you had a few tricks up your sleeve to make HOA board members actually look forward to meetings? Okay, at least not dread going to Association meetings? Here’s what you need to do.
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.
Sometimes what seems like a simple item on the agenda that will receive an overwhelming vote can end up taking the whole meeting because Board members and homeowners keep hashing out the same issue over and over again.
Does an HOA board have authority to make important decisions for the community without seeking input from their homeowners – either by informal consultation, a survey or a formal vote?
The short answer to the question is “Yes.” The HOA board is established to oversee the governance of the association on behalf of the homeowners/members. While HOAs are quasi-governmental in nature, they are not pure democracies in which members vote on every issue. The long answer to the question is more complicated.
A quorum is the minimum number of HOA board and members who must be at a meeting before business can be transacted. Homeowners can usually find quorum requirements within their Bylaws. You might be surprised but reaching a quorum to run a meeting is actually a common problem in many homeowners associations.
Have you, as a member of a Board of Directors for a homeowners association, ever had a special meeting called for your Association? Special meetings are unscheduled meetings called from time to time by the HOA board or others for a specific purpose. Special meetings usually address issues that need immediate attention or that need more time and discussion than can be handled in routine meetings.
A good number of Board members understand that being a leader within their homeowners association can be a very rewarding yet sometimes thankless job. If they have been on the Board for any length of time, they also know that change is inevitable. Rules and regulations governing homeowners associations are consistently being reviewed and evaluated, and keeping up on the changes is just one responsibility of the Association board.