Reader Questions – Our HOA Stopped Meeting – Is That OK?

Reader Questions – Our HOA Stopped Meeting – Is That OK?

Dear Mr. Richardson: Our board says that due to the pandemic they are suspending board meetings “until further notice.” Our bylaws state board meetings must be held at least every 3 months. They said if they do hold a meeting they will limit attendance to 10 members, but the Open Meeting Act says it must be open to all eligible members. The board refuses to hold a meeting outdoors because it’s “too much trouble.” Is Covid-19 a valid excuse for these restrictions?  Has the board overstepped its authority and what can we do about it? Thank you, G.B., Lakeside Dear Kelly: Is it legal for an association to not hold meetings for months because of the pandemic? There’s been no attempt by the board to hold a Zoom or any other kind of general session meeting in months. D.L., Mission Viejo Hi Kelly, Since the shelter in place orders, our HOA has had two monthly Zoom board meetings, but when members attempted to dial in they were denied access.  In my mind this is a serious violation of the Davis-Stirling act.  What action can homeowners take to rectify this matter? Sincerely, A.P., Irvine Dear G.B., D.L., and A.P.: Sorry, your concerns are currently typical of hundreds if not thousands of HOAs in California. The Davis-Stirling Act, and the Open Meeting Act contained within it has not been suspended by the pandemic. In fact, HOAs can quite easily adapt and hold board meetings (and most have) while still obeying the health department restrictions on groups of people meeting indoors. Civil Code Section 4090(b) specifically allows California HOAs to conduct board...