Most states have laws that permit homeowners association members to attend all HOA board meetings, with the exception of meetings that are held in executive session for specific limited items of business. It is also common for a homeowners associations governing documents to contain provisions that allow owners to attend all non-executive session meetings of their associations board of directors. While the state laws and associations governing documents make it clear that association members, who are the owners of properties located within the community that is governed by the homeowners association, can attend HOA board meetings, associations frequently encounter issues with those owners over who can attend board meetings with them (i.e. spouses, tenants, and attorneys), or on their behalf, and the extent to which they may speak at the meeting. Who Can Attend a Directors Meeting? Unless a particular state statute, or an associations governing documents allow for attendance at board meetings by others, the right to attend the non-executive sessions of an associations board of directors is limited to members of the association (owners of separate interests within the association). Notwithstanding the fact that they may technically not be a member of the association because they may not be on title to a separate interest, it is a common practice for associations to permit non-member spouses of members to attend board meetings of their association. Some associations will also permit tenants of owners to attend meetings of the associations board of directors and also allow them to address the directors during the open forum session of the meeting concerning relevant association issues. Occasionally, a member will attempt to bring his or her attorney to a board of directors meeting. This typically occurs when there is a controversial issue on the agenda for the meeting and it is generally met with resistance by the board because member’s lawyers do not have a right to attend an associations board meetings with or without, their client. Thus, unless the associations board has consented in advance of the meeting, attendance by a members attorney is not permitted. The exception to this rule is when a lawyer happens to be a member of the association and attends the meeting in his or her capacity as an association member. Irrespective of allowing certain parties to attend the meetings, if they misbehave or become disruptive at the meeting, they can be excluded. Members Right to Speak at a Board of Directors Meeting. With the exception of the directors executive session meetings, most state statutes and association governing documents permit members of the association to speak at meetings of the associations board of directors, subject to reasonable restrictions. Such restrictions will enable the board to establish an appropriate time during the meeting for the members to speak, reasonable time limitations, and controls on conduct. Although the business conducted by the directors is limited to items that were on the agenda for a meeting, the owners who address the directors are permitted to address the board on issues that were not on the agenda for that meeting. While the directors may respond to questions about an item that was not on the agenda for that particular meeting, if action by the directors on a particular item that was not on the agenda is required and it is not an emergency situation, the proper procedure is to place that item on the agenda for a future meeting of the directors. For more productive meetings of an associations board of directors, homeowners associations should adopt rules pertaining to a members right to speak at meetings of their board of directors. A sample of such rules and a resolution by an associations board of directors adopting them can be viewed via the following links: See: Rules Re Member Speaking at Meetings of Board of Directors> Resolution Adopting Rules Re Member Rights to Speak at Board of Director Meetings>