Notification of meetings is mandatory

Question: Homeowners at my association want to attend the board meetings but we do not receive notice of the date, time and place. We learn of the meetings by word-of-mouth, but we really want proper notice. I've brought this subject up numerous times at meetings and even suggested that a bulletin board for meeting notices be placed in the lobby next to the elevator. The president flatly rejects any such proposals, saying that it would look "tacky." Is the board of directors required to post the date, time and place of such meetings?

Answer: According to the Davis-Stirling Act, notice of board meetings must be given at least four days in advance and the notice must include an agenda. The meetings are required to be open, and meeting notice must be given in accordance with the Common Interest Development Open Meeting Act.

The Davis-Stirling Act also states that meeting notices must be given unless the association's time and place of meeting is fixed by the bylaws; then the meetings are held according to that documented timetable.

However, whether or not a meeting time and place are written into the governing documents, the board is not exempt from issuing all titleholders with notice and an agenda at least four days in advance of the meeting.

The board must also mail notice to nonresident owners and any titleholder who requests that it be mailed.

Titleholders have a vested interest in their property and have a right to know how their money and association business is being handled; the Open Meeting Act provides the basis for that transparent decision-making process.

The board has a duty to provide meeting notice, and failure to do so makes it appear as if the board is trying to keep homeowners in the dark regarding its activities and deliberations leading to its decisions.

Under Section 1363.05(f), "Notice shall be given by posting the notice in a prominent place or places within the common area."

Nothing in the act supports a board's failure to post the required notices, and such notices cannot be excused merely because they would look "tacky."

There is always a risk that failure to abide by the law and to provide the mandated notice and agenda will invalidate the meeting and all actions taken during that meeting.

Send questions to P.O. Box 11843, Marina del Rey, CA 90295 or e-mail noexit@mindspring.com.

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