N.T. from Orange County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Does my Board have to provide an online meeting space capable of accommodating all of the residents in our neighborhood?
Mister Condo replies:
N.T., as the pandemic drags on, more and more associations around the country have been forced to turn to virtual meetings to conduct the business of the association, including Board meetings. The rules for virtual meetings are the same as live meetings. If the rules require allowing members to attend the Board meetings, then the virtual meetings also need to accommodate all interested members of the association who are welcome to watch/listen to the proceedings just as they would be allowed to at a regular Board meeting. Additionally, the Minutes from a virtual meeting are the same as they would be for a regular meeting. As soon as they are approved by the Board, the Minutes become association records and, as such, are available for all unit owners to inspect. Zoom, GoToMeeting, and other virtual meeting platforms can be set up to accommodate many users, with only the Board Members having the ability to participate with the ability to speak. Similarly, if the Board wishes to hold an Open Forum portion at the end of the meeting, participants need to be granted the ability to speak using the platform. Free versions of these platforms do not always have the robust features that an HOA or condo might need to hold a compliant virtual meeting. When in doubt, the Board should consult with the association attorney to make sure their choice of virtual meeting platform is adequate to comply with the meeting requirements of the association. All the best!