Blog Post by David Swedelson, SwedelsonGottlieb Community Association Attorneys
We are often asked whether persons who are not members of the association can attend association board meetings. The short answer to this question is yes, subject to the considerations discussed below. We are also asked if non-members can be excluded from board meetings; the answer is yes, and this is also subject to considerations that are addressed below.
California Corporations Code § 1363.05, known as the Common Interest Development Open Meeting Act, provides, at subsection (b), that any member of the association may attend meetings of the association’s oard of directors, except executive session meetings of the board. This statutory provision is silent as to whether non-owner residents of the association or other non-members can attend open/general session Board meetings. Further, most association’s bylaws do not prohibit non-members from attending board meetings, and are silent on this issue.
That said, the board can allow persons who are not members of the association (or who are not representatives of a member under the color of authority granted by a power of attorney, or the representative of a corporation, limited liability company, trust, partnership or other entity that owns a unit) to attend Board meetings.
However, a person who is not a member (on record title to a unit), whether that person be the spouse or domestic partner of an owner, a family member or other cohabitant of a unit owner or a tenant of a unit, cannot participate in any member vote at a board meeting, any homeowner forum or any other business of the association. This also holds true for non-members who may be authorized to attend member meetings.
If a board is going to allow non-members to attend board meetings, the board should prepare and adopt a resolution to memorialize the board’s policy. The board should consider limiting non-member attendance at board meetings only to residents at the association, and not the general public.
And if the board wants to preclude non-owners or non-members from attending association board meetings, it has the power and authority to do this as well. If the board is going to restrict meeting attendance to owners or their legally designated representatives, and preclude tenants and other individuals who are not owners from attending board meetings, it is recommended that the board adopt a policy regarding who can or who cannot attend board meetings.
And while the board is considering the adoption of this kind of policy, it should also consider including other provisions in the policy including provisions regarding how the meeting will be conducted, open forum rules and policy, whether owners will be permitted to address the board while the board is conducting its meeting, etc.
If your Association would like assistance in preparing this type of board meeting policy which advises the owners as to exactly how the board is going to conduct its meetings, please contact our office.
David Swedelson can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org