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Subject: Bylaws, Annual Meeting & Covid
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Author Messages
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4005


01/12/2021 7:41 PM  
Our Bylaws require an in-person Annual Meeting. Probably the same for many others here.

For those of you whose State has not created a specific exception for this Covid period, I'm wondering how others dealt with the issue.

Thanks.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:3602


01/12/2021 8:04 PM  
We met via an online tool, we collected votes and proxies via letter and votes via inljne voting.

Your state won’t spend time on this during COVID.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3670


01/12/2021 8:15 PM  
There have been lots of discussions on this website about this. Some HOAs postponed the meeting and had them when certain restrictions were lifted (at !east until this new strain showed up), while many used programs like Zoom to hold virtual meetings.

My community has its annual next month and I think we'll use the clubhouse but with lots of social distancing and masks. That could be done if you have a small association, although You may have to get creative and use conference calling for people who don't have internet access or computers.

For the most part, I think it would be somewhat petty to howl over a annual meeting being held virtually instead of in person. As long as accommodations are made for As many people to participate as posxible, why insist on a live meeting when it might not be safe for everyobe, such as the elderly or high risk groups to attend? The biggest concern would be board elections to ensure they're done accord to the bylaws. Some HOAs are experimenting with electronic voting or voting by mail.

The pandemic is one of those things no one could predict, so I think this will prompt many HOAs to look at ways to use technology to hold meetings some of it may require freaking the documents or adding new sections, but it can be done.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1484


01/13/2021 6:00 AM  
Ours was held six months late, in person, and in violation of state health guidelines at the time. I will not comment about the advisability of any action that discourages participation by a portion of the membership (in this case older folks and others at risk of severe disease) and that may increase liability.

To summarize the current situation:

* Cases are surging, and in many areas health care systems are being overwhelmed.

* The new, more infectious variants of SARS-CoV-2 are in the US. If things go as they have in the UK, these variants will quickly become dominant and further propel the surge.

* Things are going to get worse before they get better.

* I think that it is irresponsible and stupid to meet in person when their are affordable electronic options available. It is especially so since we're likely to be relying on these options until we achieve herd immunity, so just do it already. I doubt that the US will achieve herd immunity any time soon, if at all - due to the feckless and ignorant behavior of much of the population and to the fact that covid is now endemic. (Cathy's Rules for Life #15: A virus can mutate faster than humans can become smart.)


I read an interesting article that said basically that the worse part of any long, tough slog is the middle, In the beginning people are fairly energized and creative, and in the end people are moving along a viable path out of the mess. In the middle, the way forward can be uncertain, people are exhausted and fed up and may throw caution to wind - thus worsening an already dire situation.

Think: how stupid would you feel if you're one of the last to die before a solution is available?


AugustinD


Posts:4828


01/13/2021 8:15 AM  
Regarding Covid and how it is changing practices that were formerly done in-person, thumbs up to the following comment:
Posted By CathyA3 on 01/13/2021 6:00 AM
I read an interesting article that said basically that the worse part of any long, tough slog is the middle, In the beginning people are fairly energized and creative, and in the end people are moving along a viable path out of the mess. In the middle, the way forward can be uncertain, people are exhausted and fed up and may throw caution to wind - thus worsening an already dire situation.

JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10366


01/13/2021 9:14 AM  
Our Bylaws call for an Annual Meeting on or before 04/15. We send owners a letter in early 03/2020 saying due to Covid, we did not know when it would be safe to hold a meeting. We sent another one in 10/2020 saying due to Covid we did not know when we could schedule a meeting and the present BOD would remain in office until our next Annual Meeting. Here we are 01/2021 and not one owner has questioned us about it.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10366


01/13/2021 9:16 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 01/13/2021 9:14 AM
Our Bylaws call for an Annual Meeting on or before 04/15. We send owners a letter in early 03/2020 saying due to Covid, we did not know when it would be safe to hold a meeting. We sent another one in 10/2020 saying due to Covid we did not know when we could schedule a meeting and the present BOD would remain in office until our next Annual Meeting. Here we are 01/2021 and not one owner has questioned us about it.



ADD ON
Later this month we will be sending a letter including the 2020 Financial Reports and saying we hope to conduct an Annual Meeting before 04/15.
AugustinD


Posts:4828


01/13/2021 9:38 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 01/13/2021 9:14 AM
Our Bylaws call for an Annual Meeting on or before 04/15. We send owners a letter in early 03/2020 saying due to Covid, we did not know when it would be safe to hold a meeting. We sent another one in 10/2020 saying due to Covid we did not know when we could schedule a meeting and the present BOD would remain in office until our next Annual Meeting. Here we are 01/2021 and not one owner has questioned us about it.
I hear the pride in your voice. Maybe your Board (with you on it) is exceptional. But I know a HOA where no one questions the Board because the Board prints the questioner's name in the minutes and defames the questioner. This same Board uses HOA resources to campaign for itself but does not let non-directors use HOA resources to campaign.

For what it is worth for the archives.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:4242


01/13/2021 10:59 AM  
Posted By NpS on 01/12/2021 7:41 PM
Our Bylaws require an in-person Annual Meeting. Probably the same for many others here.

For those of you whose State has not created a specific exception for this Covid period, I'm wondering how others dealt with the issue.

In Florida, many HOAs and condos are holding virtual meetings with Zoom or some other videoconference tool. My impression is that many attorneys are advising their clients (the HOAs and condos) to go ahead and do it that way, even though that technically violates the state statutes and quite possibly some (most?) Bylaws. The argument is that no court will take punitive action against a board for doing what it thought was the right thing to do where the goal was to protect peoples' health.

I do hope the FL legislature updates the HOA and condo laws this session. It's badly needed when the current situation is that lawyers are advising their clients to violate the law and the judiciary seems to be all, "Sure, go ahead."

On some level it's things like this that form the basis for the whole "Florida Man" thing.
AugustinD


Posts:4828


01/13/2021 11:05 AM  
Posted By GenoS on 01/13/2021 10:59 AM
I do hope the FL legislature updates the HOA and condo laws this session. It's badly needed when the current situation is that lawyers are advising their clients to violate the law and the judiciary seems to be all, "Sure, go ahead."
Interests are competing. To me, it's a too close to a darned-if-you-do-and-darned-if-you-don't situation, with liability high on the list of any Board's arguments against in-person meetings.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10366


01/13/2021 11:24 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 01/13/2021 9:38 AM
Posted By JohnC46 on 01/13/2021 9:14 AM
Our Bylaws call for an Annual Meeting on or before 04/15. We send owners a letter in early 03/2020 saying due to Covid, we did not know when it would be safe to hold a meeting. We sent another one in 10/2020 saying due to Covid we did not know when we could schedule a meeting and the present BOD would remain in office until our next Annual Meeting. Here we are 01/2021 and not one owner has questioned us about it.
I hear the pride in your voice. Maybe your Board (with you on it) is exceptional. But I know a HOA where no one questions the Board because the Board prints the questioner's name in the minutes and defames the questioner. This same Board uses HOA resources to campaign for itself but does not let non-directors use HOA resources to campaign.

For what it is worth for the archives.



I do not think our BOD, even with me on it, is exceptional. I think we are good and fair.

We never publicly use a member's name. In the case of reported violations they are "investigated" by the BOD and any violation letters are sent out under the MC's signature. We average no more than 10 violation/warning letters a year with only one ever resulting in fines. Our delinquent list is by amount with no other information given.

We have no amenities thus we are not a complex association to operate. Our last ankle biter faded into the woodwork some 3 years ago when others tired of him complaining at the Annual Meetings. His cohort moved away about the same time. The ankle biting ceased.

Our main area of discussions/complaints center around landscaping. Our association does all landscaping and we get complainers complaining such as you trim my bushes to much or you do not trim my bushes enough, etc. We have had some refuse to use their sprinkler systems and their grass has died. Some tried to blame it on the landscaper but when we draw their attention to the homes on either side looking good, they fade away. We need to have a go around with 2-3 owners on this (meaning they have to replace the dead grass) every year but those conversations are privy to the BOD.

We have an Gmail address that one can send an Email to. When sent to this address, it automatically gets copied to each BOD Member so we all know who says what. We then assign a specific BOD Member to deal with each and every Email and report back.

We avoid fining if at all possible. We have only fined two owners in 5 years and we voided the fines in one case. We have unpaid dues liens on 3 of our 112 owners.

Yes I have pride in my voice as I think we do a great job of keeping our owners informed and happy.
AugustinD


Posts:4828


01/13/2021 12:17 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 01/13/2021 11:24 AM
Our association does all landscaping and we get complainers complaining such as you trim my bushes to much or you do not trim my bushes enough, etc.
To totally digress: Oh dear lord have I seen the above. I think a truly wise board will explain that pleasing everyone is impossible. The reasonable HOA members, whether they are happy or not with shrub trimming, will nod with understanding, happy that they do not have to serve on the board.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:4242


01/13/2021 12:41 PM  
"The new landscape company is awful. They cut the grass too short!"

I literally heard that last year from several homeowners in my HOA.
JohnC77
(Washington)

Posts:434


01/14/2021 11:54 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 01/13/2021 9:16 AM
Posted By JohnC46 on 01/13/2021 9:14 AM
Our Bylaws call for an Annual Meeting on or before 04/15. We send owners a letter in early 03/2020 saying due to Covid, we did not know when it would be safe to hold a meeting. We sent another one in 10/2020 saying due to Covid we did not know when we could schedule a meeting and the present BOD would remain in office until our next Annual Meeting. Here we are 01/2021 and not one owner has questioned us about it.



ADD ON
Later this month we will be sending a letter including the 2020 Financial Reports and saying we hope to conduct an Annual Meeting before 04/15.



Do you hold board meetings during COVID?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10366


01/14/2021 12:38 PM  
Posted By JohnC77 on 01/14/2021 11:54 AM
Posted By JohnC46 on 01/13/2021 9:16 AM
Posted By JohnC46 on 01/13/2021 9:14 AM
Our Bylaws call for an Annual Meeting on or before 04/15. We send owners a letter in early 03/2020 saying due to Covid, we did not know when it would be safe to hold a meeting. We sent another one in 10/2020 saying due to Covid we did not know when we could schedule a meeting and the present BOD would remain in office until our next Annual Meeting. Here we are 01/2021 and not one owner has questioned us about it.



ADD ON
Later this month we will be sending a letter including the 2020 Financial Reports and saying we hope to conduct an Annual Meeting before 04/15.



Do you hold board meetings during COVID?




We only hold BOD Meetings when needed, which means 2-3 a year. When an issue arises we discuss it over the phone and via Email. In the 5 years since the BOD has taken over, we have only once had an issue that Members had to voted on and that was changing Quorum form 50% to 20% and it was done at an Annual Meeting, prior to Covid.

The most drastic thing we have done is increase Annual Dues by 40% which is within the power of our BOD. We did a good job of informing and educating our owners (informational meetings, mailings, spreadsheets, etc.) about the need for such. Not that anyone liked it, including the BOD, but we only had one owner (of 112) challenge us in writing and he was challenging our ability to do such. We directed him to the Covenants where it allowed us to. He went away.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Bylaws, Annual Meeting & Covid



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