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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 116764
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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Our HOA 5 member Board called a special meeting to pass a

Customer Question

Our HOA 5 member Board called a special meeting to pass a $175,000.00 pool renovation project, 5 days before a regularly scheduled annual meeting to elect 3 new Board members. During the last year, property owners turned out in mass to question and protest the previous Board's actions. They announced in an blast scarily 48 hours prior to the meeting, went in to Executive Session for an hour and a half to discuss, came out and voted with no community input until after they voted to go forward. No one saw the project contract or the bank loan documents except the Board and Chaparral Management until it was completed. The property owners would like to know what their choices are. Thank you in advance.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
What do the bylaws state about notice of meetings and did they follow the bylaws procedure? Executive session is not legal for deciding an assessment in Texas. Texas Code(###) ###-####states in pertinent part:
"Regular and special board meetings must be open to owners, subject to the right of the board to adjourn a board meeting and reconvene in closed executive session to consider actions involving personnel, pending or threatened litigation, contract negotiations, enforcement actions, confidential communications with the property owners' association's attorney, matters involving the invasion of privacy of individual owners, or matters that are to remain confidential by request of the affected parties and agreement of the board. Following an executive session, any decision made in the executive session must be summarized orally and placed in the minutes, in general terms, without breaching the privacy of individual owners, violating any privilege, or disclosing information that was to remain confidential at the request of the affected parties."
They cannot go and pass an assessment in closed executive session, it must be in an open meeting.
If they did not follow the bylaws or the open meeting laws, the owners can file a petition for declaratory judgment in the court and get the court to invalidate the assessment and any improper actions taken in the closed session. The law also says they cannot pass any special assessment except at an open meeting with minimum 72 hour notice. So the actions of the board in closed session were improper.
So, the owner's next step is to obtain an attorney, because this action requires legal representation, and file suit against the board/association in court to have the assessment invalidated as it was not properly passed. The owners can also seek damages personally from each of the board members for the cost of going to court to invalidate their actions if the new board will not invalidate the action in a board meeting for that purpose.