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Understanding California HOA Board Meeting Rules: A Simplified Guide

In California, homeowners associations (HOAs) play a crucial role in managing community standards and amenities. Key to this management are the board meetings, where decisions are made and community issues are discussed. The state has set specific regulations to ensure these meetings are conducted fairly and transparently, protecting the rights of all homeowners. This post demystifies California's HOA board meeting rules, making them easy to understand and apply in your community.

Open Meeting Act

Under the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act, the California Civil Code mandates that most HOA board meetings be open to all members. This requirement is part of the Open Meeting Act, ensuring transparency in HOA governance.

Key Points:

  • Notice Requirements: Associations must provide notice of board meetings, including the agenda, at least four days in advance if the notice is delivered by individual notice, and at least four days in advance if posted in a prominent place or places within the common area and by mail to any owner who had requested notification of board meetings by mail (Civil Code Section 4920(b)(1)).
  • Open Meetings: With limited exceptions, all board meetings must be open to members. This includes discussions and deliberations (Civil Code Section 4910).
  • Executive Sessions: Boards can hold closed executive sessions for sensitive matters like litigation, personnel issues, or disciplinary hearings, but must generally disclose the session's topics in advance (Civil Code Section 4935).

Meeting Participation

California law encourages homeowner participation in board meetings to foster a sense of community and transparency.

Key Points:

  • Speaking Rights: Members have the right to speak on matters being considered by the board, with the association allowed to set reasonable time limits on comments (Civil Code Section 4925).
  • Meeting Materials: Associations are encouraged to make meeting materials available to members, although this is not a legal requirement.

Emergency Meetings

In exceptional circumstances, the board can convene emergency meetings without the standard notice requirements. These meetings are reserved for emergencies where delay would pose a danger to the community or its members (Civil Code Section 4923).


Recognizing the importance of flexibility, the law allows board meetings to be held via teleconference, as long as all participants can hear one another and members have the opportunity to attend at a specified physical location (Civil Code Section 4090(b)).

Enforcement and Compliance

Non-compliance with these rules can lead to legal challenges and discontent within the community. It's crucial for HOA boards to follow the guidelines diligently and for homeowners to be aware of their rights and responsibilities.


California's HOA board meeting rules are designed to promote transparency, fairness, and community involvement in the governance of common interest developments. Understanding these rules is essential for both board members and homeowners, ensuring a harmonious and well-managed community. For more detailed information on these regulations, please refer to the official California Legislative Information website and the Davis-Stirling Act within the California Civil Code.

This simplified guide aims to make the complexities of California HOA board meeting rules more accessible to everyone in the community. By staying informed and engaged, homeowners and board members alike can contribute to the effective and equitable governance of their HOA.