Community associations play an important role in neighborhoods around the United States, with an estimated 363,000 associations addressing homeowner problems. However, poorly designed meetings reduce the efficacy of these boards and waste important volunteer time. 

In turn, this inefficiency causes dissatisfaction and eventually undermines the board’s ability to serve the community.

The article analyzes the transforming impact of an HOA annual meeting agenda and explores its main advantages. To help the management company craft an effective board meeting agenda, we offer a free, downloadable template that’s easily customizable. 

With the HOA annual meeting agenda template, it’s easy to structure the executive session for improved flow and clarity, ensuring everyone follows along and stays engaged. 

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Who sets the agenda for HOA meetings?

Homeowners in communities managed by a Homeowners’ Association (HOA) gather regularly for HOA meetings. These meetings provide a crucial platform for residents to discuss local issues, voice concerns, and make decisions that directly impact their neighborhood. 

As mentioned in our previous articles, a productive meeting relies on a clear and comprehensive agenda. The board meeting agenda items must reflect a variety of perspectives from within the HOA community.

Regarding its functions, the HOA board is primarily responsible for setting this agenda and hosting an open meeting. However, the process isn’t entirely top-down. Typically, the president or chairman leads the agenda alongside other HOA management. Furthermore, it’s crucial to appoint a designated person to maintain records and board meeting minutes.

Here’s an explanation of how it works:

  1. Board initiative. That all starts with the board proposing agenda items. This might include discussions on pressing issues like maintenance needs or upcoming projects, reports on completed initiatives, governing documents, or proposals for community events.
  2. Legal compliance. Certain items are non-negotiable. The agenda must include mandatory discussions mandated by the HOA’s bylaws and state laws. These may include approval of the last meeting minutes, financial reports, board elections, and any bylaw amendments.
  3. Homeowner input. Homeowners submit items for consideration,  providing a platform to voice concerns, propose solutions, or initiate discussions on topics relevant to the community. Bylaws typically specify deadlines for homeowner submissions.
  4. Final touches. Once everything is done, the board prioritizes agenda items based on urgency, complexity, or potential for discussion. They then allocate time for each discussion to ensure all crucial issues are timely.

HOA agenda requirements

A well-crafted agenda is essential for a productive HOA meeting, as it helps to keep discussions organized. Besides, there are legal requirements that dictate what should and should not be included on an HOA meeting agenda. It’s also applicable to any confidential information. 

First of all, transparency and communication are key components of HOA meetings, and the agenda plays a critical role in achieving these objectives. 

According to California Civil Code (§ 4920(d)), a notice of meeting outlining the items to be discussed or acted upon by the board must be included in the distributed notice provided to homeowners before each meeting.

Furthermore, the board can’t discuss or take any actions during a non-emergency meeting if it wasn’t previously included in the distributed notice agenda. This is according to the Civil Code (§ 4930(a)). So, that’s why it’s important to make sure that the agenda is set up correctly!

While the agenda plays a central role, there are limited exceptions allowing for some flexibility:

  • Directors or the manager may respond briefly to homeowner inquiries or statements during open forums (§ 4930(b)(1)).
  • The board may ask for clarifications, make brief announcements, or present short reports on their activities (§ 4930(b)(2)).
  • The board can provide references or resources for factual information to the manager or staff (§ 4930(c)(1)). They can also request reports from the manager on specific matters at future meetings or direct the manager to include items on upcoming agendas (§ 4930(c)(2)-(3)).

What to include in the HOA meeting agenda: 

Do HOA meetings leave you feeling more confused than informed? The reason behind this may be a disorganized or non-existent agenda. Without a clear agenda, meetings can be unproductive, causing confusion and frustration. 

It’s easy to get lost in discussions and waste time wondering what’s next. However, with all the items in place, everyone can be confident that essential matters will be addressed. 

Here’s a breakdown of the essential components you should include in your meeting agenda.

1. Call to order

The meeting starts with the board president or a designated chairperson formally initiating the session. This is traditionally referred to as “calling the meeting to order” and sets a professional tone.

A quick acknowledgment of any new board members or delegations attending the meeting adds a touch of courtesy.

2. Roll call

Next comes the roll call (optional), which the board secretary or a designated person usually handles. This step is important to verify attendance at the meeting, particularly for board members, to establish a quorum of at least 51% of attendees.

In smaller communities, a simple sign-in sheet might suffice for a meeting of the board. However, larger HOAs use electronic attendance tracking for efficiency. If a quorum isn’t met, the meeting might need to be postponed or continue in a non-voting capacity 

3. Open forum

After the roll call, the meeting must offer an opportunity for an open forum. During this time, residents share any concerns or comments that are not directly related to the meeting’s agenda items. Additionally, people might be urged to submit any non-urgent issues ahead of time so that they can be considered for the next meetings. 

4. Approval of last meeting’s minutes

During the meeting, the secretary or a designated individual presents the minutes from the previous meeting for review and approval. This ensures that members of the community have the same understanding of what was agreed upon.   

Additionally, this is the time when participants can request any changes or clarifications before the minutes are officially approved.

5. Presentation of reports

As part of the meeting, committee chairs, management personnel, or designated individuals present reports on various aspects of the HOA, such as finances, annual budget, maintenance projects, security issues, or upcoming events.

This section of the HOA agenda template allows for a detailed understanding of the HOA’s operations, finances, and initiatives, which is important both for residents and other board members.  Include frequently asked questions section, if necessary.

Despite the HOA meeting format, it’s a good idea to share reports electronically in advance and keep presentations brief by focusing on the main points.

6. Old and new business

This section is the core of any meeting. Old business refers to the topics that were previously discussed but still have unresolved issues or require further action. This ensures continuity and progress on ongoing matters. On the other hand, new business allows residents or the board to bring up new topics for discussion and potential voting. 

7. Adjourn

Finally, adjourn the meeting when all agenda items have been handled. This formal closing assures an appropriate conclusion to every meeting.

HOA board meeting agenda template

If you need help to create a strong HOA meeting plan, we created one to help you get started. Our HOA meeting agenda template provides a framework for organizing your agenda, including call to order, roll call, approval of previous meeting minutes, reports from officers and committees, and other necessary items.


Download HOA board meeting agenda


Key takeaways

  1. A clear agenda ensures focused discussions, efficient use of time, and improved communication between residents and the board.
  2. The board has main duty, including local input through submissions create a well-rounded agenda addressing community issues.
  3. A defined format with essential items like call to order, approval of minutes, committee reports, old and new business, and adjournment keeps the meeting organized and efficient.
  4. The HOA meeting agenda template is just a starting point. You can customize it to fit the specific needs of your homeowners association agenda.

Board portals are secure online tools that help homeowners associations streamline communication and cooperation. They can be especially useful for setting agendas and encouraging resident engagement. Don’t hesitate to explore our board portal vendors and choose the best for you!

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Casey Johnson Marketing strategist
Casey Johnson is a seasoned marketing strategist specializing in board portals. With over a decade of experience, she spearheads comprehensive marketing campaigns to enhance brand visibility and drive growth. Casey orchestrates content plans, conducts market research, and collaborates with content creators to ensure impactful marketing strategies.
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