Your homeowners association (HOA) helps maintain the neighborhood’s appearance and property values in your community. You probably paid a premium to purchase a home located in a respected HOA neighborhood, and you probably also pay association fees every month in addition to your mortgage and escrow contributions.
Your HOA should do its best to preserve the property values within the community and enforce the existing rules for the benefit of everyone who lives there. From rules about late-night music to limitations on how long a trash bin can remain at the curb, there are many rules that an HOA establishes and enforces for the betterment of a community.
The HOA board is also accountable to the homeowners in several ways. Some HOA boards may try to avoid community feedback or consequences for their decisions by preventing homeowners from attending meetings. Has your HOA held closed meetings instead of open meetings?
Closed HOA meetings violate Arizona law
As a homeowner living in an HOA community, you have a right to give feedback and input when the HOA makes decisions. Every meeting should be open to the public so that you can attend to find out the current agenda. You should typically have an opportunity to give your thoughts on matters and to suggest issues for the HOA to address in the future.
When HOAs hold meetings behind closed doors, they make decisions that do not necessarily reflect the values or best interests of the homeowners in their community. They also increase the possibility that corruption will occur. What can the homeowners do in the HOA board excludes them from meetings?
Document the issue and take action
Closed-door HOA meetings can lead to legal action from homeowners denied an opportunity to be present at and involved in HOA decisions. In some cases, you can obtain a court order to prevent the board from meeting in such a manner again. Other times, you may be in a position to recall board members and remove them from their position to replace them with someone who will put the needs of the community about their own interests.
Learning more about the rules that govern HOA communities can help you fight back if your HOA board violates your rights or the law.