When September rolls around at the offices of Priestley Management Company, the managers and staff at are hard at work for the upcoming annual meeting season. Both the NC Planned Community Act (NCGS § 47F-3-108(a)) and the NC Condominium Act (NCGS § 47C-3-108(a)) require that a meeting of the association be held at least once each year. These two statutes apply retroactively to older associations. There are things each Association can do to help assure that their 2017 annual meeting is a success:
Set the date early, follow proper notification, and remind often
Many of Priestley Management’s Associations will set the annual meeting date a year in advance. This give members plenty of time to plan for the annual meeting. Once you have set the date of the annual meeting, constantly remind homeowners of the upcoming annual meeting. Detail the meeting in your HOA newsletters and correspondence to the community. Finally, do not wait until the last minute to send the official annual meeting notice. Generally, planned communities must provide not less than 10 nor more than 60 days’ notice sent by hand-delivery or prepaid U.S. mail to the mailing address of each lot or to any other mailing address designated in writing by the lot owner. Make sure and review your association’s by-laws and follow proper notice of the annual meeting. Don’t do the minimum day requirements!
If there’s a “hot topic,” educate early
Preparation is important for “hot topics.” If an item is going to be a “hot topic”, such as an amendment or special assessment, the board should communicate with the membership well in advance of what all is involved and answer questions
Always have positive information
Meetings often turn into a time to gripe. It is important for the board to have some positive items on the agenda such as thanking committee members, board accomplishments, etc.
Keep to the agenda
It is very important to follow the agenda and keep the meeting on track. Often, the board and membership will get off track from the agenda which results in a disorganized meeting.
Cover the financials & budget
It is important to go over the current financial position of the membership along with present the budget. Although residents have received the budget in advance, it is still important to explain to the membership.
Get the proxies.
If residents can’t attend, ensure they know to return proxies to the property manager, board secretary, or other resident. The last thing you want is the hassle of missing quorum (minimum voting attendance) and having to reschedule the annual meeting.
Utilize your experts.
Invite your management company, lawyer, accountant, and others who can help answer questions that may arise from the attending residents. An example would be to invite the insurance agent to answer any questions regarding the insurance policy.
Proper preparation will prevent poor performance at an annual meeting. Always make sure you have are well prepared in advance and follow your annual meeting plan. The more you can do prior to an annual meeting, the more successful it will be.