HOA Meeting Agenda: How to Structure a Successful HOA Meeting
Are you struggling to keep your meetings running smoothly? Wondering how a perfect HOA meeting agenda should look like?
It’s true; Meetings might not be the most important or the most talked-about aspect of running an HOA. And yet, it’s almost impossible to organize the association without bringing board members, the HOA manager, and residents together at least a couple of times a year.
But then, those meetings must run smoothly, and follow at least a basic structure to get anything done.
If you’re struggling with that, in this post, we’ll show you what that structure should look like for various HOA meetings.
Let’s start with the most common structure
A Typical HOA Meeting Agenda
Below is a list of elements you’ll find at practically every HOA meeting. Granted, there are some additional agenda items for the annual meeting or the executive session, and you’ll find information about them later in this guide.
However, when you’re organizing a typical HOA meeting, you should follow this agenda:
Call to Order
A call to order signifies the start of the meeting.
Now, the call does not have to be formal in any way. That said, there should be a point at which you or another board member calls the meeting to order. In most cases, this happens at the scheduled time for the meeting (however, you might also have to delay the start, if some board members aren’t yet present.)
The call to order might be followed by a roll call, where you introduce board members to everyone present at the meeting. It’s not a required item, hence we’re not including it separately on the list.
Review of Last Meeting’s Minutes
The first thing you should do is to review the last meeting’s minutes. There are two reasons for the review:
To inform anyone who hasn’t been present at the last meeting about what’s been discussed and decided.
To make note of any outstanding issues that haven’t been resolved in the previous meeting (but without discussing them yet.)
The review ensures that any issues, old and new, remain fresh in your memory. The review also sets the tone for the meeting, as it highlights what the board will have to decide on during this meeting.
Once everyone’s familiar with the minutes, the board and various committees (like the financial or the architectural committee) should outline the current situation at the HOA.
At this step, everyone present should hear various reports relating to different aspects of the association - financial reports, any maintenance issues and the status of any works in progress, violations and resolutions, events planned, and more.
The number of reports will depend on the size of your HOA, and the number of projects the association is currently working on.
Discussion About Any Unresolved Issues
The presentation of reports concludes the review part of the meeting. At this point, everyone is up to date on all that’s happening at the association and is ready to move on to discussing old and new issues.
We recommend that you begin by evaluating issues that haven’t been resolved during the last meeting.
Doing so will allow you to resolve all the concerns, or move those items to future meeting agendas, and make space for new items on the agenda.
Discussion About Any New Issues or Projects
This item, typically, takes the major part of the meeting. Most likely, there are new issues or projects that the HOA needs to address, and this is the time to do it.
Note - This item is not an open forum, though. The purpose of this section of the meeting is to bring everyone’s attention to any new business in the HOA and make decisions about how the association will handle it.
These decisions might range from moving the issue to a future agenda, assigning a board member to investigate the matter further, and so on.
Open Forum (Optional)
Depending on the type of meeting, you may want to allocate specific time to members. An open forum would give them an opportunity to express their concerns and make comments about various issues or initiatives within the community.
However, be mindful that the open forum is only a platform for voicing concerns. But you should be careful about how and when you’re going to address those. For example, many state laws prohibit acting on any issues that are not on the agenda. If that applies to your State, you may need to include the issue in the next meeting’s agenda, and discuss it then.
Adjournment officially closes the meeting, denoting that all items on the agenda have been addressed. Anything that would be discussed after the adjournment would not be considered a part of this particular meeting.
Special Items on the Annual Meeting Agenda
If you’re organizing an annual board meeting, then, you should add a few additional items to the agenda:
Annual budget presentation. The financial committee might choose to present their report at every meeting. But that report, often, focuses on the HOAs current situation. The annual meeting, however, is the perfect opportunity to present the budget for the coming year, along with financial projections and budgets for various projects.
Elections. The annual meeting is also a time when residents might elect new board members, and elections might take a major part of the meeting.
Introduction of new board members. In case new members were elected previous to the meeting, the board might use the annual meeting as an opportunity to introduce them to the residents.
Proposals that need approval from board members. The annual meeting is an open meeting that everyone can attend. Because of that, residents might also propose projects for the board to consider.
Discussion about major projects for the year ahead. Finally, you may choose to allocate some time during the annual meeting to go over various projects and initiatives the HOA has planned for the year ahead.
HOA Meeting Agendas - Legal Requirements
We’ve covered what to include in an HOA board meeting agenda. But we also need to discuss some legal requirements to keep in mind when you’re creating an agenda.
You must post meeting agendas publicly along with the notice of meeting. And, as we mentioned above, with some exceptions, the board is not allowed to discuss issues that aren’t on the agenda.
What are those exceptions?
Emergency situations that arose close to the time of the meeting, and after the agenda has been published.
Items and issues requiring an immediate attention, and
Items that have appeared on the previous agenda but the board didn’t have the time to act on them then.
Aside from those three instances, the board can only discuss and decide on issues on the agenda.
Notice of executive session must also include an agenda. Now, the executive sessions are confidential, of course. Because of that, agenda descriptions do not need to include any details of topics discussed. However, you must post at least a general agenda for the session.
And that’s it…
Follow this agenda, and you should see a major improvement in how your HOA meetings progress.
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