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How to Continue a Unit Owners’ Meeting

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2019 | Firm News

By: Barbara G. Hager

​At Unit Owners meetings, it sometimes happens that there is either not a quorum, or, even if a quorum is present, not enough votes to vote on a particular matter.  Some matters require a certain percentage of all unit owners (for example, amending the declaration), not just of those present and voting.  In these situations, Robert’s Rules of Order provides that the Association may “continue” the meeting to a later date.  This is sometimes called “fixing the time at which to adjourn.”

Continuing a meeting is officially keeping it “open” until the date to which it was continued.  You do not need to have a quorum in order to continue the meeting.  Also, there is no requirement to send out new notices for the continued meeting date.  It may be a good idea, however, especially more votes are needed for a particular matter, to send out a notice of the new date chosen.

How exactly is a meeting continued?  The moderator or person running the meeting first explains to the unit owners present that there is either no quorum, or not enough votes to pass the matter at hand.  Then the moderator will ask the gathered body (the people in attendance) for someone to offer a motion to continue (also called a motion to “fix the time to which to adjourn”) the meeting to a specific date.  The motion requires a second and may not be debated.  If a specific date is not stated in the motion, the moderator may clarify that a date must be chosen, and suggest a date – usually two to four weeks hence – on which the meeting will continue.  Then the moderator will restate the motion with all pertinent information included, and call for voting on the motion.  The motion requires a majority of those voting to pass.  Assuming it passes, the meeting is then adjourned.  To adjourn, the moderator states “this meeting is adjourned, to continue on [date] at {time] location [place]”.  If the motion to continue is not passed by a majority vote, an entire new meeting must be called to address the quorum or vote requirement issue.

There are some Bylaws which may allow the moderator to continue the meeting with just an announcement, without following the motion practice described above.  That is permitted only if the Bylaws explicitly allow.  Most do not.  In which case to continue a meeting the motion procedure described above must be followed.

The continued meeting does not in and of itself require a quorum, if, in adding the persons attending the first and second meeting, a quorum is reached.

The persons who already attended and voted in the original meeting do not have to attend the continued meeting.  In between the time of the first meeting and continued meeting, the Board or other unit owner group will ordinarily seek out unit owners who were not in attendance, giving them proxies to complete.  Do not give out ballots; ballots are used only in the live meeting.

The secretary or other designated person should keep minutes of the first meeting and the continued meeting.

Finally, a meeting may be continued more than once.