Frustrated? Stifled? Trying to Get Something on the Agenda of Your HOA?

I commonly receive questions about meeting and committee agendas. Owners want to get something on the agenda for an upcoming meeting. Sometimes the owner is also a board member.

And somehow the item never gets on the agenda, or is rejected. Who is in charge?

The answer is

First, look in the bylaws and CC&Rs to see if there is a procedure for getting items on the agendas.

If not, ask your HOA if there are any policies, written or otherwise.

If not, and you feel that you are running into roadblocks in getting items placed on an agenda you should try a written request asking for what you want, and requesting a written response as to why the item is being rejected and what the process is, who’s in charge, and where the authority comes from.

These are things you need to know before you start a skirmish.

If you are an  owner, you do not have authority to ask to have something put on the agenda for a board meeting. You might be able to get some action put on the membership meeting agenda if the board is amenable. If not, you will probably have a problem and need another strategy for seeking what you want.  You can always ask for what you want of course, but the processes in place may have a way of dealing with it without involving the full board, such as a maintenance item where someone like a manager or individual board member has been given some authority to arrange for certain repairs.

If you are a board member, it seems you ought to be able to get items on the agenda if they are “review-worthy”. But it’s not always the case. Sometimes there is a good reason for not putting something on the agenda that only one or fewer than the majority of board members want to discuss.

In some Associations a manager  puts the agenda together and the items for discussion come out of board meetings (such as deferred business) and requests by board members. The manager by his or her actions may seem to be exerting control, but generally any “control” is more likely coming from the president of the Association, who might by policies be in charge of the agenda,  or as  sometimes happens, another board member who believes for some reason they have unfettered authority to accept or reject agenda items.

If attempts to get reasonable action items before the board fail, legal advice is probably needed, perhaps a letter from an attorney if warranted. Sometimes you might have to hear that the only way to get the board to consider action on any item is to run for the board and become part of the decision making group.


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Beth A. Grimm is an attorney who serves homeowner associations and homeowners alike. She is a frequent contributor to the Echo Journal and other similar publications in the State of California and on a national level. She provides several publications written in plain English to help people who need information about California law as it relates to homeowner and condominium associations.

Things to keep in mind about this site: Practical Nuts and Bolts Problems and Solutions are Discussed. Beth A. Grimm practices law in California ONLY! There is nothing in these blogs that is intended to constitute legal advice. You must consult with an attorney if you want legal advice!