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What is The Open Meeting Act?

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2023 | Real Estate Law

The Open Meeting Act, also known as the Sunshine Law, aims to enhance accountability and transparency in governing bodies. It mandates that all meetings of homeowners associations, including board and yearly meetings, must be accessible to all members.

What this means is that unit owners have the right to comment at meetings on matters affecting the common interest community or the association, as per Connecticut Common Interest Ownership Act Sec. 47-250(4). HOAs must comply with the Open Meeting Act, which promotes transparency and communication while imposing fines for infractions. This encourages resident engagement and familiarity with local issues.

HOAs may hold closed executive sessions

Board meetings in an HOA are typically divided into two parts: an open session and a closed session. During the open session, HOA members are welcome to attend and engage in discussions with the board, including participating in a public forum. The closed session, also known as an executive session, is private for HOA board members only. These sessions usually take place either before or after the open board meetings and may occasionally include the HOA manager.

The HOA board is not obligated to invite everyone to these meetings. Private executive sessions usually involve discussing sensitive topics such as outstanding accounts, problems with tenants and legal matters. Due to the sensitive nature of these matters, any confidentiality breach arising from these sessions might become problematic.

Must an HOA comply with The Open Meeting Act?

Yes, HOAs must comply with the Open Meeting Act. The legislation promotes openness, communication and resident engagement with local concerns. It also imposes fines for infractions brought to their attention.

Some HOAs may not fully understand The Open Meeting Act. Therefore, they are encouraged to seek guidance from a knowledgeable source who can help clarify the law for them.