Q&A: When the Board Changes the Meeting Time

Q. Most of the members of our condo board are retired, and recently voted to hold board meetings at 1 p.m. instead of our traditional 7 p.m. because afternoons are convenient for them.  The other two board members — and the majority of unit owners — work, and therefore can’t attend the meetings. I feel this is simply a way for those board members to do whatever they want, with no input or opposition to any proposals. Is there any way for owners to require evening meetings, or is our only recourse to wait through a few election cycles, and vote these people out of office?

                 —Seeking the Best Approach

A. “Massachusetts General Laws Sec 183A is silent as to what times of the day a Condominium may hold board meetings. Additionally, many times the condominium documents are silent as what times board meetings may be held,” says Daniel Lopez, Associate at Perkins & Anctil in Westford, Massachusetts. “Despite these facts, condominium board members are not powerless as to what time future meetings will be held.

“Many condominium boards are actually moving away from having night meetings and are instead holding early morning meetings. Since the condominium statute and many times condominium documents are silent, this is perfectly legal. If however you as a board member are unhappy with the times that board meetings are held, you have a few options:

“You can simply make a request to board members to hold the meeting at another time which is more convenient for you and potentially other board members;

“You can move to have the condominium documents amended so that all future meetings are held on certain times or dates; 

“You can also move to have the documents amended to allow for electronic attendance (teleconference, Skype, FaceTime, etc.); and

“As you suggested, you can vote the board members out of office and have them replaced with people who will have the meetings held at a more reasonable time.

“Therefore, if you are concerned with the current board’s motives, you have a few options. Some of these options take longer than others, but politely asking for the meeting to be held at a different time so that you may attend may potentially be the quickest solution to this issue.”

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