What Is a Quorum?To protect an organization from being bound by decisions taken by an unrepresentatively small number of members who might attend a meeting, a quorum - a minimum number of members who must be represented - is required to conduct substantive business at a meeting. That magic number will usually be stated in the bylaws or CC&Rs. It may be an unreasonably high number (like between 50% to 75% of all owners) or it may be a realistic number, but either way it’s required. If it’s unreasonably high, change it, amend the bylaws, but don’t ignore it. One of the first things to occur at any meeting should be the determination of whether the required quorum is represented.
What a Quorum Requirement Is Not.A quorum requirement is not the number of owners required to approve a matter. The number of owners required to approve a matter is generally a majority, except the election of a director, which is usually a plurality (the candidate with the most votes wins). But, the governing documents can require a higher (or lower) number, and most do in the case of amendments to CC&Rs or bylaws. Such amendments usually require the approval of somewhere between a majority and 67% of the owners.
The Problem of Quorum Requirements.In HOAs, one of the most common mistakes in bylaws is a high quorum requirement.
One side effect of a well-run HOA is contentment among members. As a result, the members tend to be apathetic about attending meetings, resulting in low turnout. This becomes a significant problem if the bylaws require an unreasonably high quorum, such as a majority of all members.
Without a quorum at a meeting, the association is penalized. Often, an entirely new meeting must be scheduled, noticed and attended, costing money as well as additional time from its volunteer leaders. In the meantime, elections can't be held and the association's hands are tied as to any business that was to be decided at the meeting.
HOAs and Quorums.The rationale that a quorum is a protection against decisions taken by a small number of members simply has very little place in a regularly-scheduled HOA annual meeting held after notice was provided to all members. The primary vote held at
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(For reference: 57-8 is the Condo Act, 57-8a is the Community Association Act, 16-6a is the Nonprofit Act)