When an upset homeowner attends a homeowner association (HOA) board meeting, they believe they have the right to speak to the board, and sometimes demand answers or immediate action by the board.

The California legislature agrees that homeowner members should be heard. That is why the legislature created the Common Interest Development Open Meeting Act CIVIL CODE SECTION 4900-4955

Within this Act, the legislature gives the homeowners the right to be heard, but limits the amount of time the homeowner can demand of the board’s attention.

4925 (b) The board shall permit any member to speak at any meeting of the association or the board, except for meetings of the board held in executive session. A reasonable time limit for all members of the association to speak to the board or before a meeting of the association shall be established by the board.

Although most of us would like immediate answers from the board, it is important that the board, management, and sometimes experts, like roofers/plumbers/arborists, and so forth, review the homeowner request before an informed decision can be made.

4930 (a) Except as described in subdivisions (b) to (e),inclusive, the board may not discuss or take action on any item at a nonemergency meeting unless the item was placed on the agenda included in the notice that was distributed pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 4920. This subdivision does not prohibit a member or resident who is not a director from speaking on issues not on the agenda.

Patrick Morrisey, President of Yacht Club Condominiums in San Diego, California came up with a dialogue he reads at the beginning of the Open meeting, to help the homeowners understand the board’s role, and the homeowner’s role during the board meeting.

With Patrick’s permission, I have edited this script and present it to anyone that wants to copy and use it for your meetings. In our experience, this introduction helps the homeowner better understand the meeting format, and what is expected of the Board and the Homeowner.

Victoria Cohen

Victoria Cohen

Victoria Cohen is an active member of Community Association Institute (CAI) at the local, state and national level. She served on CAI's Community Association Volunteer Committee (CAVC) for 5 years, serving as chair in 2012. Victoria served two years on the CAI Board of Trustees, 4 years on CAI's nominating committee, and two years on CAI's Government and Public Affairs Committee. Back home in California, Victoria has served as secretary for the San Diego Legislative Action Committee and currently sits on the CAI San Diego Chapter Board of Directors.To learn more about Victoria, visit www.linkedin.com/in/victoriacohen2020
Victoria Cohen

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