Traditionally, fall is the time when homeowners associations (HOA) begin meeting to decide on the next year’s budget and to plan for any projects coming up over the next fiscal year. Owners should try their best to attend these meetings, as a lot of important issues that they may want a say in are decided there.
For example, based on what projects are being planned for the next year as well as the potential increases in various expenses, the Board of Managers (BOM) can hold a vote to increase the monthly assessments that all owners have to pay. Depending on the state of the current budget, the BOM may even vote on instituting a special assessment to pay for needed building capital improvement projects.
It’s important for owners to attend not only to protect their individual interests, but also for the effective functioning of the association itself. HOA meetings can’t decide anything unless there’s a quorum of a minimum number of owners present. The reason for this rule is that you wouldn’t want a few members at a low-turnout meeting to be able to make a decision that affects the whole building. But in associations with consistently low owner turnout to meetings, lack of quorum can prevent important Board decisions from being made in a timely manner.
If you’re an owner and can’t make it to a meeting, remember that you can vote by proxy by giving your vote to another attending member, who can then put in your vote during the meeting. Your vote will also count toward the quorum.
If you have any suggestion for changes or improvements to the building such as maintenance projects or changes in the association rules, the new meeting season is the perfect time to bring them to the Board’s attention. So, take advantage of your position as an owner and participate in your HOA meetings this fall meeting season.