Frequent meetings of the HOA board are necessary to respond to community concerns and address issues as they arise, like changes to the annual budget. While having multiple property owners show up to every meeting may mean that they take longer, the board cannot have closed meetings to prevent lengthy discussions or interruptions. California state law requires open HOA board meetings.
Property owners have a right to listen and speak at HOA meetings
Despite having relatively little power when compared with politicians, HOA board members could still abuse the authority that they have in their communities. They could make arrangements that benefit the board members more than the community or selectively enforce rules in what is ultimately housing discrimination.
Keeping board meetings open to the public ensures transparency and reduces the likelihood of board members abusing their authority. Under the Open Meeting Act, community members can potentially attend every single meeting, and no major decisions should occur outside of those meetings.
Legal compliance is crucial for HOA boards
If property owners suspect their HOA board of some kind of misconduct, they could challenge their decisions or even take the board to court. The penalties for a violation of the Open Meeting Act are significant. The courts could assess up to $500 in civil penalties for each violation, and the courts may also offer injunctive relief to property owners challenging decisions made at closed HOA board meetings.
Ensuring that all of your meetings meet the California state requirements for public and open meetings will reduce the likelihood of property owners challenging the board’s authority or decisions that it makes on behalf of the community. Learning more about the laws that apply to HOA boards can help the members of these boards achieve what they need to do for their community without making possibly expensive mistakes.