We received an email from a subscriber wanting to know if he, as a homeowner on a residential airpark, can call a general meeting to discuss his concerns of the actions of the current board of directors of his homeowner association. Obviously, something is going on with which he disagrees or he wants action on something that isn’t getting done.
Can a homeowner call a general meeting? Maybe and maybe not!
Most documents allow for a member or a group of members to call for a meeting of the general membership. Exactly what number or percentage of homeowners is required to generate such an action is different from one community to another.
What do the covenants, conditions and restrictions – CC&Rs (or deed restrictions) state? Do they have provisions for an individual member to call for a homeowners’ meeting? Are there any options for getting a special meeting of the board of directors?
I repeatedly admonish people planning to buy into a residential airpark community (or any other type situation in which there is a homeowners’ association or other entity that can enforce community rules) to make sure the CC&Rs are understood completely. And, if the rules are plain, do they meet with the lifestyle they plan to follow.
Recently I ran into a situation at which the CC&Rs were understood by all but one of the homeowners. The CC&Rs allowed that individual to call for a general meeting at which that individual explained the rules, as he understood them. The majority of the group disagreed. Lawyers were brought into the issue on both sides before a compromise was agreed to.
Who won in such a situation? The attorneys, of course! Trying to resolve the issues as clearly and simply as possible is important for the benefit of all combined. No set of rules can ever be written that will meet all circumstances and all interpretations. They must be broad enough to allow for things to change but tight enough to make sure one individual can’t disrupt the entire community.
We encourage any homeowner unhappy with the actions of their governing board, or lack of actions, to meet individually and try to resolve the issue before calling for a general meeting. Unfortunately, that type session usually ends up with comments that shouldn’t have been made and feelings that are hurt and that never heal.