Generally speaking, HOA Board meetings are open for public attendance. In some situations, however, the HOA Board may need to discuss matters that are private, privileged, or sensitive in nature. In these scenarios, the Board may call an Executive Session, in which other HOA owners are not permitted to attend.
These “secret” meetings can sometimes be the cause of misunderstanding, so in this post, we’ll provide a few important points of clarification.
5 Points About Executive Sessions
- Attendance is limited. Not just anyone can attend an Executive Session. All Board members are allowed to come, and so can the HOA’s attorneys and the HOA manager. In some cases, the Board may also invite other third-party guests. Those who aren’t expressly invited to these closed-door sessions, however, will not be allowed in.
- There should be notification. Generally speaking, it’s important for any Executive Sessions that are called to be announced with some advance notice. The standard is at least two days. The Board may announce the Executive Session with a brief summary of the agenda, though, due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter, this agenda will typically be a little vague.
- Most Executive Sessions are held in person. It’s acceptable to hold these meetings with the Board members all together in the same room, or to have some members participate via Skype, FaceTime, conference call, etc. Generally speaking, holding “meetings” over email or through written consent is not permitted, though there may be exceptions made for emergencies.
- The Board can call an Executive Session for any number of reasons. Some of the most common reasons for calling an Executive Session include:
- Legal action
- Issues with third-party contracts
- Disciplinary action required against an HOA member
- Sensitive matters involving employees of the HOA
- Discussions of foreclosures in the community
- Minutes will typically be taken. While it’s common for Executive Sessions to have their minutes recorded, these minutes are usually kept confidential, available only to those invited to the session. The minutes may be acknowledged at the next public meeting, but not read out loud.
More Questions About Executive Sessions?
It’s important for HOA Board members to know they have Executive Sessions available to them when they need them; and, for homeowners to know what Executive Sessions are and why they might be called. If you have any additional questions about any of this, reach out to Kuester Management Group. We’d love to offer you clarity.