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FAQs for annual meeting and HOA special meeting noticeEvery association must hold annual meetings (sometimes known as annual general meetings, or AGMs) and, when necessary, special meetings to address issues that can’t wait for the next board meeting. If you’ve read our article on board meeting basics, you already understand why your condo or homeowners’ association needs to hold regular board meetings. However, these aren’t the only meetings your community has.

As with other types of meetings, condo and HOA annual and special meetings must comply with your association’s bylaws. The bylaws provide board members with the criteria they must follow, such as the appropriate advance notice, the required quorum, and proper voting procedures.

We’ve answered some of the most common questions about annual and special meetings. If you desire more comprehensive information about the different types of association meetings, we encourage you to speak with a seasoned board member or your property manager for additional information and guidance.

Download our guide, "A board member's guide to improving communication in your community", today!

What is the purpose of the annual meeting in HOA?

Annual meetings are often your association’s most important meeting of the year because it’s where homeowners are informed and updated about important board business and key association issues, such as finances, the status of current projects, and plans for upcoming capital improvements. All HOAs and condo associations are required to hold annual meetings that are open to all association members. The annual meeting is also when homeowners have the opportunity to participate in the community’s decision-making.

What is typically on a condo or HOA annual meeting agenda?

Although every association is different, some of the activities that both condo associations and HOAs may have on their annual meeting agenda include the following:
  • Presentations by the board, its committees, and professionals involved in community business like accountants, contractors, and vendors
  • Announcements about staff or management changes
  • Proposals requiring residents’ approval
  • Approval of the annual budget
Most condo associations and HOAs also carve out space on their annual meeting’s agenda for homeowners to participate in open discussions, raise concerns and ask questions about important association business – amicably and productively. These open forums on the agenda provide a structured way for community members to be heard. Open forums must be well controlled to prevent them from taking the annual meeting off track. Seasoned board members or the community’s property manager often apply effective techniques to keep discussions focused and on topic.

Board member elections are another essential item on a condo or HOA annual meeting agenda as they are usually conducted to coincide with annual meetings. Board members are elected by a majority vote of homeowners. Depending on your state or provincial laws and your community’s governing documents, you may vote in person at the annual meeting, electronically, by mail, or by naming a proxy (an individual designated by the homeowner to cast a vote on their behalf). With several options, there’s no reason not to make your vote count!

Who can attend an annual meeting?

Annual meetings are open, meaning all owners (and shareholders) can (and should!) attend and vote. In addition, homeowners’ legal guardians, trustees, personal representatives, and those with power of attorney may attend and vote on behalf of the homeowner. Beyond that, each community’s attendance rules and requirements are defined by its governing documents and state or provincial statutes. This means that attendance by non-owners, such as tenants, potential homebuyers, and proxies, may vary.

What about vendors, attorneys, and other professionals?

Although they may be invited to attend specific meetings to provide information or make presentations to homeowners, your association can restrict their attendance otherwise.

Do board member elections require a quorum?

When it comes to electing board members or voting to approve policy changes, bylaws or state/provincial statutes usually require associations to obtain a quorum – a specified number or percentage of homeowners or their proxies present to vote.

Do annual meetings have notification requirements?

The HOA annual meeting notice must be shared in advance with homeowners and include the date, time, and location of the meeting, as well as the agenda. How far in advance and the method by which notices must be delivered to homeowners varies and will be specified in your association’s governing documents and state or provincial statutes. Generally, associations are required to deliver notices by postal mail or personally, with many communities also permitted to deliver them electronically. Notices may also be posted in common areas.

What is a special meeting?

Special meetings are unscheduled meetings that may be called to handle a specific issue or problem that cannot wait for a regularly scheduled meeting or is important enough to require an entire meeting. Special meetings must be focused on a single issue. Any other issues that arise are not open to discussion at the special meeting.

Do condo and HOA special meetings require advance notice?

As with other meetings, the board is required to send everyone in the condo association or HOA a special meeting notice. Again, the specifics of that notice (timeframe, content, and delivery method) are determined by state/provincial statutes and your association’s bylaws. Still, it should always include the meeting’s date, time, location, and issue to be discussed.

Who can request a special meeting?

In most cases, a board member will call for a special meeting, but most associations also allow homeowners to petition for them. Your bylaws will spell out the requirements, such as the number or percentage of homeowner signatures you must obtain and the process for presenting the petition to the board. If you meet all requirements, the board must hold the meeting.

Annual and special meetings are necessary and integral parts of governing an association – and valuable methods in ensuring smooth operations, enhancing the lifestyle of residents, and positioning your community for success. And, of course, they provide excellent opportunities for open communication between residents and board members.

We hope this article was able to answer some of your inquiries regarding both association annual and special meetings. If you wish to learn more about condo or HOA association matters, feel free to browse our collection of informational articles below!

Are you a board member? Learn how you can communicate better with residents. Download our guide, "A board member's guide to improving communication in your community", today!
Wednesday October 26, 2022