A Breakdown of the 5 Types of HOA Meetings

A Breakdown of the 5 Types of HOA Meetings

June 21 2023

Every homeowners’ association (HOA) must hold critical meetings throughout the year. The type, intention, and frequency of these gatherings vary by community, but most fall into the following categories: board meeting, annual meeting, executive session, committee meeting, and special or emergency meeting. Each meeting plays a vital role in the governance of the association, and understanding the structure and purpose is crucial to success. Read on to learn about the five different types of meetings, what happens at them, who attends, why they’re important, and more.

Board Meeting

The most common HOA meeting, board meetings are meetings of elected leaders to conduct the business of the association. Board meetings should be orderly, respectful, and cordial, and only items included in the established agenda should be addressed unless an open forum is permitted. Minutes should also be taken and made available after the meeting.  

The frequency, attendance, and notification requirements for board meetings vary by community and governing documents. However, residents will typically be made aware of an upcoming board meeting seven to 30 days in advance. 
  • Who attends? Elected leaders must attend, and resident attendance and participation are encouraged. The community association manager or another management team member may also be present and help with preparation and execution. 
  • What’s discussed? Association operations, including policy setting, maintenance reports, dispute resolutions, and future plans.
  • When does it happen? Typically monthly or quarterly.
  • Why is it important? Things like budgets, landscaping, and emergency planning need constant attention, and this is the time in which the board can get together to discuss such issues and residents can voice concerns or ask questions.  


Annual Meeting

Required by the association’s governing documents, annual meetings are the main meeting for an HOA. Annual meetings have both a legal and functional purpose. Similar to board meetings, at least a 30-day notice is often needed and minutes should be taken and made available to residents after the meeting.
  • Who attends? All residents, board members, and management representatives.
  • What happens? Elect new board members, present the annual budget, discuss actions taken by the board, hear committee reports, announce capital projects, celebrate success, and more.
  • When does it happen? Once a year.
  • Why is it important? It’s an opportunity to address large-scale topics, the general state of the community, educate residents, and showcase the association’s value.  


Executive Session

When confidential and privileged matters need to be discussed or voted on, the board of directors will hold an executive session. These gatherings are closed to the public, and while homeowners have a right to know the board is holding an executive session, specific details should not be shared. Because of the sensitive content, minutes shouldn’t be distributed after an executive session, but actions and outcomes may be noted at a future meeting.
  • Who attends? Board members and directly involved parties.
  • What’s discussed? Private matters such as homeowner appeals, personnel problems, delinquent members, and architectural violations.
  • When does it happen? As needed, usually after a regular board meeting.  
  • Why is it important? It’s a safe space to navigate sensitive issues and topics.


Committee Meeting

Many HOAs create committees to share and divide the board’s workload. Whether it’s a welcome committee, social committee, budget committee, or another type, these groups must meet periodically, just like the board of directors. Meeting and membership requirements can be found in the governing documents, but committee meetings are usually run like an open board meeting and have similar notification and minute recording and distribution standards.
  • Who attends? Selected committee and board members.   
  • What’s discussed? Committee-related projects, timelines, and action items.   
  • When does it happen? Typically monthly or quarterly.
  • Why is it important? When committee members handle smaller-scale issues and projects in these meetings, board members can focus on fulfilling their duties more efficiently and effectively.   


Emergency or Special Meeting

If necessary, the board of directors can call for an emergency or special meeting. These meetings are rare and should only occur when something needs immediate attention or action, like a severe weather event or disaster. Guidelines are outlined in the community’s governing documents, but due to the nature of an emergency or special meeting, it can take place in-person, by phone, or by email, and advance notification isn’t mandatory. However, minutes should be taken and distributed.
  • Who attends? Board members.
  • What’s discussed? The special or emergency topic.
  • When does it happen? As needed.    
  • Why is it important? It’s dedicated time to address and manage the situation at hand. For example, if a wildfire is approaching, evacuation and communication plans may be established. 


How to Run Better Meetings

While vital to the success of a community, meetings often lack proper planning, structure, and attendance. Our FREE ebook, “A Board Member’s Guide to Running Better Meetings,” was written to help board members prepare, plan, and run better board meetings. In it, our experts share tips for increasing attendance, creating agendas, working with different personality types, and more.  

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