Another Q About Executive Sessions in HOAs and Condos

I receive many emails about what is appropriate for executive session meetings in HOAs or Condos. Here is one:
“Can you tell me if a HOA should be using Executive Sessions to discuss the possibility of giving management “retirement benefits”? These are salaried managers. My interpretation of “personnel issues” under exec
session in the Davis/Stirling act is hiring, firing, discipline but not benefits
as well. And must salary increases be addressed only in executive sessions as
I do not know why this would not fall under the “personnel matters” umbrella. I would say it is subject to executive privilege for discussion, but of course it won’t be secret once it is a record as¬†compensation paid to personnel¬† (by job classification) is subject to inspection by members, with information that could lead to identity theft redacted of course. (Califoria Civil Code Section 1365.2.5).
Discoverable records include:

“(2) Except as provided by the attorney-client privilege, the association may not withhold or redact information concerning the compensation paid to employees, vendors, or
contractors. Compensation information for individual employees shall be set forth by job classification or title, not by the employee’s name, social security number, or other personal information.”


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4 Responses to Another Q About Executive Sessions in HOAs and Condos
  1. Dawn
    July 29, 2011 | 4:37 pm

    In NJ you also need 100% mortgage holder approval from all banks who hold a mortage – in our case we altered legal title to the property.

    I suggest NEVER EVER consider this in a condo. We had a member enter into a contract with our board, she breached it as she never followed through on the steps needed and wound up suing the Association for breach of contract when she sought to revive the agreement 5 years later.

    Our attorney never defended the alleged breach, but wound up settling the matter to the tune of $70,000 in legal bills – the process took well over 4 years, incurred a mountain of additional costs and even involved getting a variance as the subdivsion and transfer violated the local zoning and density ordinance.

    Even though we had a clause whereby all costs were her obiligation, she has yet to pay a dime for the paperwork to be prepared properly and has refused to reimburse the Association for the costs to get it right. The attorney is so tired of this case her pro bono attempts to finish it are now sloppy and favor the plaintiff.

    If you want more land, just move and buy your own land – these communities and thier resident board members are not in the business where they should be selling off or transferring property – they are in business to PRESERVE AND PROTECT the common elements – not get rid of them or sell them off.

    We still have no idea what the tax implication will be as this is transfer involved revenue – a mere $35,000 for approx. a half acre for the land and as a non-profit we may only see half due to the capital gain on a land sale.

    • Beth Grimm
      July 31, 2011 | 4:08 am

      All I can say is this is an example of what can go wrong when an HOA transfers common area to owners (I assume that is what happened thta set off this devastating series of events). Don’t try this at home!!

  2. Gerard Malavenda
    August 10, 2011 | 3:17 pm

    This is a question rather than a comment. I was voted in as a treasurer of my 16 unit HOA this past March. Recently prior to a board meeting I was looking over a YTD statement and picked up on a $1000.00 payment made to a former unit owner that sold his unit. I asked the property management rep and other board memebrs what the payment was for. They said that it represented 5 additional months of association fees that were paid by the prior unit owner after his closing. As treasurer I asked to see the bank statements to document the overpayment and both the property management firm and other board memebers are refusing to let me confirm the overpayment. Do I have a problem here?

    • Beth Grimm
      September 18, 2011 | 4:50 am

      You have a right to see the records. If the other board members are preventing you from seeing them then it sounds like there is a problem. I would suggest asking the board the reason why you are denied access.