“Assuming that notice provisions are complied with but that attendance is still insufficient, the issue becomes whether or not the association can actually conduct business. Again, some documents are instructive. For instance, some documents provide that the association’s business may be conducted at the meeting and take effect upon being ratified by unit owners subsequent to the meeting. Such provisions typically require that unit owners sign off on a written statement of the business conducted. If your documents have such a provision, this may allow you to conduct business. Some documents provide that a meeting with insufficient attendance may be rescheduled and that the rescheduled meeting may be subject to less-stringent attendance standards.
“I have worked with some associations whose documents lack any of the provisions referenced above. Some of these have taken to calling a vote among those actually present at the meeting to determine whether or not those present agree to conduct business knowing that the required attendance is lacking. While this would leave the business of the meeting subject to challenge, if all present agree then the challenge would need to be taken by a unit owner that failed to attend the meeting. Some boards are willing to take this chance in order to be able to effectively operate.
“It may be worth mentioning that some boards will ‘bribe’ unit owners in order to obtain sufficient attendance. By this I mean that some boards will offer something to entice people to attend. In some cases, this may be a guest speaker, such as a community police officer if the community is interested in a neighborhood crime watch or the like. Sometimes, it may simply be refreshments (i.e., food and drink) offered to attendees.
“If insufficient attendance continues to plague the board’s attempts to conduct business, you may be required to examine the possibility of amending your documents. Provided you follow the proper procedure for the amendment, you may be able to institute a less-stringent standard for the attendance required to conduct business at a meeting.”