Scheduling annual meetings and board meetings for homeowners associations can be challenging. There are many people involved, and most members have busy schedules. As a result, choosing a date for the meeting that works with everyone’s schedules is often impossible.
Could there be a better way to hold member meetings and association meetings?
BuildingBoard has developed a browser-based meeting platform that allows members to attend and vote at annual meetings from wherever they may be physically located. The system is easy to use and does not require downloads for apps or software. Members can use almost any electronic device equipped with an Internet browser.
Missing a quorum for an annual meeting or board meeting generally requires that the association reschedule the meeting. Rescheduling a meeting can be time-consuming and costly. Additionally, there is no way to guarantee that you will have a quorum at the rescheduled meeting.
Virtual meetings encourage more people to attend. More members attending the meeting means that you have a better chance of meeting your quorum. In addition, having more members participate in annual meetings is better for the community.
The annual meeting is held to conduct business that impacts the entire community. However, these meetings may also provide owners and shareholders the opportunity to voice concerns or issues.
Several laws apply to most condominiums in New Jersey. The New Jersey Condominium Act governs condominiums organized under the act. Additionally, the New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation Act and the New Jersey Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act may also apply to a condominium development.
The association bylaws and articles should govern annual meetings. If the association is a nonprofit corporation, which many condominium associations are, §15A:5-1 of the Nonprofit Corporation Act requires annual meetings of the members. Notice of the meeting is required by law, and a quorum must be present to vote on any proposals or elect directors.
Co-operatives are subject to the New Jersey Cooperative Record Act if the co-op was organized under the act. Likewise, a co-op could be subject to the New Jersey Horizontal Property Act if the co-op was organized under the act. The co-op’s articles or bylaws should state how the co-op was organized.
Co-ops are corporations. Therefore, the New Jersey Corporation Act would also apply to co-ops. If the co-op is a nonprofit corporation, then the New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation Act would apply.
Generally, co-ops are required either by their bylaws or statutes to hold annual meetings of the association. They are required to provide notice of these meetings and have a quorum present to vote on measures or elect directors.
Homeowners associations (HOAs) may be subject to the New Jersey Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act and the New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation Act. As with condominiums, annual meetings are required under the Nonprofit Corporation Act. Many HOAs in New Jersey are organized as nonprofit corporations.
Annual meetings are generally required. The HOA’s bylaws should prescribe the process for holding annual meetings, noticing requirements, and quorums.
In the past, association meetings have generally been in-person meetings because they are open to the membership, with very few exceptions for some board meetings. Associations may face penalties for failing to hold open meetings according to the bylaws or statutes.
The Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act nor the Condominium Act address or prohibit virtual or remote meetings. However, the Nonprofit Corporation Act does authorize directors to participate in board meetings by any means of communication provided all board members can hear each other. Still, it does not address meetings of the membership.
Under current open meeting laws, as long as holding an annual meeting virtually does not discriminate against any protected groups, or prohibit any member from attending the meeting, and as long as virtual or remote meetings are allowed by the governing documents, an annual meeting may be done virtually.
Until the laws are clarified, associations should carefully review the statutes and their own bylaws and consult a lawyer to determine if remote meetings are legal.
BuildingBoard is easy to use, convenient, and avoids problems reaching quorums. Schedule your meeting, invite members via email, and conduct the vote on the day of the meeting. Your members vote via their smartphone or computer.
Are you ready to simply your annual meetings? Contact BuildingBoard to learn more about our services and to schedule a demo.
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