Opening Up About Texas’ Open Board Meeting Laws

HOA board meetings are an essential part of keeping the community informed on your board’s progress and above all, keeping the leaders of a neighborhood honest. In Texas, the law requires that HOA board meetings are to remain open and must cover specific neighborhood details. An HOA management company likely knows these rules, however we understand a lot of homeowner associations are run by members of the community.

Here’s a closer look at what is covered during an open meeting and how Texas HOA laws impact meeting operations.

What is an Open Meeting?

An Open Meeting means a meeting of the Board of Directors of an HOA which is open to any and all members of the HOA.  This means that any member of an HOA is welcome to attend and observe the meeting.  While owners may be in attendance, the meeting is still a meeting of the Board of Directors, so owners in attendance are not allowed to speak, unless part of an Open Forum as outlined in the meeting’s agenda.

Many Board Meetings require the Board to discuss sensitive information such as compliance or delinquency actions.  This part of the meeting is called a closed or executive session and HOA members are not allowed to observe this part of the meeting.

Are Owners Always Notified of Meetings?

According to Texas law, owners are required to have advanced notice of all board meetings. The open meeting statute grants owners meeting information that includes:

  • The meeting’s date
  • The meeting’s time
  • The meeting’s location
  • Subjects to be discussed openly
  • General description of items that could be discussed in a closed session

Keep in mind, while notice is necessary for some remote meetings, your board is still able to take action without hosting a formal meeting. In the event that the board has an agreed upon phone call or online session where action is taken, there doesn’t have to be any notice given to owners.

What is Covered in an Open Meeting?

Although board members can take action without hosting a board meeting, they are limited to what they can and cannot vote on during those sessions. Any of the 15 required items to be covered at an open meeting are off-limits and must be discussed during an open meeting.

The 15 items that cannot be decided upon outside of an open meeting are:

  • Fines
  • Damage assessments
  • Initiation of foreclosure actions
  • Initiation of enforcement actions (except temporary restraining orders or violations involving a threat to health or safety)
  • Increases in assessments
  • Levying special assessments
  • Appeals from denials of architectural control approval requests
  • Suspension of homeowner rights before the owner has an opportunity to address the board
  • Lending or borrowing money
  • Adopting or amending a dedicatory instrument
  • Approval of an annual budget or budget amendment
  • The sale or purchase of real property
  • Filling a board vacancy
  • The election of an officer
  • Constructing capital improvements

What is Held Back in an Open Meeting?

Although it seems like everything is covered in an open meeting, some matters are best discussed behind closed doors. Should the board opt for a closed session, it is usually for issues that include:

  • Contract negotiations
  • Litigation
  • Legal advice
  • Enforcement actions

Stay On Top of Your HOA Needs With Goodwin & Company

If your board needs help successfully addressing all of your community’s needs, Goodwin & Company has the experience and resources you need. We have helped countless communities like yours succeed and make their neighborhood a place to call home. Contact us today to learn more about our services.