Residents in condo, HOA and co-op communities are frequently quite busy. Boards consist of elected volunteers who nearly always have other jobs and lives. So while a professional management company can relieve much of the day-to-day operational stress of running a multifamily community, no decision can be made without those board members coming together to represent the interests of their neighbors.
This is why regular board and community meetings are essential. For one, they’re usually mandated by law. The specifics may vary by region, but it’s safe to assume that an annual meeting of owners or shareholders and several other gatherings of board members are statutorily required. But meetings shouldn’t be just another administrative box to check: they should be efficient, well-organized forums for conversation between an association and its leadership where questions are addressed; needs are discussed; and action plans laid out that are understood by all parties involved. Communication is key to community, and so a board that acts in an opaque, closed-off manner can only bring headaches on itself down the line.
The Chicagoland Cooperator spoke with several attorneys from different states to outline the legal requirements for association meetings, as well as their personal recommendations for best practices to keep those meetings smooth, productive and brief.
James Arrigo, an attorney with Rathje Woodward, which has offices in Illinois and Wisconsin
“In Illinois, meetings are a statutory matter. You must hold no fewer than four board meetings per year, and one members’ meeting, which typically doubles as your annual meeting.