Tips for Meeting a Homeowners Association Board Guidelines in Bozeman

Most HOA boards are comprised of volunteer members. Leaders are taking time out of their own busy schedules to participate in the management of their communities, and that’s pretty impressive.

Respect your time and the time of your fellow board members by making your meetings more effective and efficient. You want these HOA board meetings to be time well spent, and you don’t want to spend hours not getting anything done.

We have some strategies for better HOA board meetings. If you’re still struggling to stay organized and productive, consider working with a professional Bozeman property management company. We can be a great resource for your association.

Set and Stick to an Agenda

You need an agenda for a successful HOA board meeting. Informal meetings without a written agenda can easily get off track, and you don’t want to waste time. The agenda should be crafted ahead of time, so members can arrive knowing exactly what will be discussed.

A good board meeting agenda will have specific points of discussion. Your governing documents may have requirements about what’s discussed and voted on. Remember that you don’t need a three-page agenda with a dozen sub-points. Focus on what you want to solve and address in this one particular meeting, and draft a concise agenda.

Put times on the agenda as well. This will keep each of the topics focused, and you can avoid getting into long debates or discussions that take up the entire meeting or drive you off track.

Discuss Relevant Laws and Regulations

Every board meeting should include a quick check for legal and regulatory compliance.

Of particular importance now is SB 300. This law, which was enacted by the Montana State Legislature last year, protects property owners from any new covenants, conditions, and restrictions that the HOA may set on certain uses of the property.

The 3 types of limitations include:
  • Limits the property use to strictly residential, agricultural, and/or commercial purposes or prohibits an owner from using the property for one or all of those purposes.
  • Limits an owner’s ability to rent the property for any amount of time or prohibits the owner from doing so completely.
  • Prevents an owner from developing their property in a manner that otherwise conforms to federal, state, and local law.
This law applies to any property owner that owned their property prior to the new CCRs being enacted. Once the property is sold, the exemptions do not transfer to that new owner. It’s important that you make sure your HOA is complying with this law.

The Montana Nonprofit Corporation Act is also something your board should be actively discussing in meetings. Your HOA is likely a designated nonprofit organization. Make sure you’re paying attention to Title 35 Chapter 2 of the Montana Code.

Take Good Meeting Minutes

Summarize the meeting at the end, and list any action items for each attendee. This will keep everyone accountable and clear on expectations and responsibilities. Spend a few minutes to confirm that everyone agrees with what was discussed and decided. Confirming with everyone while you’re all together is more effective than having emails fly back and forth between meetings.

Put someone in charge of meeting minutes. Typically, this is the board secretary, but it can be anyone in attendance. Be sure to have those minutes distributed as soon as possible after the meeting so board members have a chance to review them and raise any changes or concerns.

Many boards hold an annual meeting and some have a semi-annual meeting. Each organization is managed differently, and each association attracts different levels of participation from its homeowners. If you’d like some help with consistency, enforcement, or budgeting, please contact us at Peak Property Management. Our Bozeman property management services include HOAs and community associations.