What Goes On In HOA Meetings? Should And Can Homeowners Participate?

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It is important to understand the different types of HOA meetings and who can attend them. In doing so, homeowners can be aware of their rights, while board members can help protect those rights. 

What Are HOA Meetings?

Simply put, HOA meetings are meetings that take place within a homeowners association. HOA communities function in much the same way as corporations. They have association matters to discuss and make decisions on, and meetings provide an avenue for these interactions.

There are five types of HOA meetings: annual meetings, board meetings, executive sessions, committee meetings, and special or emergency meetings. Let’s break down each of these below.

1. HOA Annual Meetings

The annual HOA meeting serves as the main meeting for the entire community. As its name suggests, this homeowners meeting takes place once a year. More often than not, state laws and an association’s governing documents require annual membership meetings. In Texas, Section 209.014 of the Property Code requires annual meetings.

The annual meeting can include plenty of things. Most importantly, the HOA board elections occur at this meeting, which is also where the HOA board presents the annual budget. Other than that, committee reports, discussions of decisions, and important announcements also take place at this meeting.

The annual meeting is crucial because it allows the board and homeowners to tackle big topics and upcoming projects. It is also the perfect opportunity to showcase milestones, celebrate achievements, and acknowledge contributions.

2. HOA Board Meetings

The HOA board of directors meeting is the most frequent meeting. At this meeting, board members convene to discuss association matters, make decisions, and update the community on important issues. 

Board meetings usually take place monthly or quarterly. However, the mandated frequency can vary depending on the association’s bylaws. Other than board members, residents can also attend board meetings. These are called open board meetings.

It is worth noting that board members must follow strict rules when discussing association matters outside of a sanctioned meeting. Typically, board members can’t make decisions or discuss issues over casual dinners where notice isn’t given, and residents aren’t invited. The characteristics of an illegal HOA board meeting can vary, depending on the state and the governing documents.

3. Executive Sessions

There are two types of board meetings. The first one, discussed above, is an open board meeting. The second one is called an executive board meeting or an executive session.

This is a closed board meeting, meaning residents can’t attend or listen in. Executive sessions typically occur after an open board meeting, but they can happen right before. However, select homeowners directly involved or affected by closed discussions may be invited.

At executive sessions, board members discuss confidential or private matters. These include but are not limited to ongoing litigation, disciplinary actions, personnel issues, and delinquent members. State laws and an association’s bylaws may list the topics that should be discussed behind closed doors. In Texas, Section 209.0051 addresses this.

4. Committee Meetings

If an HOA has committees, then it is likely that committee meetings will also take place. At these meetings, committee members discuss committee-related issues, projects, and action items. Like board meetings, committee meetings are open to all members. They also occur monthly or quarterly, depending on the committee’s needs and the HOA’s bylaws. 

5. Special Meetings

Special meetings, also called emergency meetings, are meetings that take place outside of regularly scheduled meetings. They don’t happen often, only when the situation calls for them. For example, if a natural disaster strikes, the association may ask for a special meeting to tackle issues and decisions that require urgent attention.

Homeowners typically find specific guidelines on special meetings within their bylaws or, sometimes, state laws. Due to the constraints of an emergency, special meetings can often occur over the phone or through electronic means.

Key Components of a Homeowners Association Meeting

There are three items to remember when conducting HOA meetings: the meeting notice, agenda, and the meeting minutes.

HOA Meeting Notice

All meetings should come with a notice of the meeting. However, the required timeframe for this notice can depend on state laws, the HOA’s bylaws, and even the type of meeting. Special or emergency meetings usually only need a short notice period.

The meeting notice should include all pertinent information, such as the date, time, venue, and subject. If the HOA provides a way for remote owners to join the meeting electronically, details must also be included in the notice. 

HOA Meeting Agenda

The meeting agenda lists all the items that will be discussed or voted on during the meeting. It is imperative that the meeting follows the agenda strictly, never tackling an item that does not appear on the agenda. Additionally, the notice of the meeting should typically include the agenda.

HOA Meeting Minutes

The minutes of the meeting are a documentation or written record of the meeting. It does not have to be a script or play-by-play of everything that happened. However, it should include all the essential information, such as who made motions, who seconded motions, voting results, and other events.

The meeting minutes are an official record of the association. Therefore, homeowners have a right to access the minutes.

Who Can Attend HOA Meetings?

In general, the only meetings that are not open to homeowners are executive session meetings, otherwise known as closed board meetings. Community managers may attend meetings depending on the HOA’s bylaws and agreement with the management company. 

Tenants may not be allowed to attend meetings, though this depends on the association’s bylaws. The landlord or homeowner may ask the tenant to attend on their behalf as a proxy. Generally, though, tenants do not receive the same voting rights as homeowners.

The Final Word

Clearly, HOA meetings play a crucial role in an association’s continued operations. An HOA can’t function without meetings, as these meetings are where vital discussions and votes take place. 

88 Doors offers assistance with conducting efficient HOA meetings. Contact us online or call us today at (512) 348-8821 to get a quotation!