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HOA Meeting Etiquette: Dos & Don'ts for Homeowners

Zoom in on person's hand and arm hosting a meeting.

homeowners’ association (HOA) meeting is an essential gathering of board members and residents to conduct business, plan projects, voice concerns, and share updates. Because HOA leaders make crucial decisions that affect the community during these meetings, homeowners should attend and participate.

However, meeting etiquette rules exist to maintain order and facilitate productivity—and homeowners should follow proper protocol to move meetings along. Read on to learn what homeowners should and shouldn’t do when practicing good HOA meeting etiquette.

1. DO plan to attend.

Attendance is vital to any meeting, and an HOA meeting is no different. Every homeowner is a key player in the community’s success and should be present to help steer the board in the right direction.

When life gets busy, and schedules are packed, there are things HOA residents can do to prioritize HOA meeting attendance and make the most of their time in the room, such as:

·         Pay attention to meeting notices and announcements.

·         Mark your calendar to reserve that time.

·         Review the HOA meeting agenda and come prepared with questions or suggestions.

·         Encourage other homeowners to attend with you.

·         Ask if online attendance is allowed and about virtual meeting etiquette.


Virtual meeting platforms can promote meeting attendance. Read “Top Tech Solutions Every HOA Should Have” to learn what other tools an HOA can benefit from.

2. DON’T arrive late.

Arriving late to an HOA meeting is disruptive in many ways. For one, it can be distracting to the person speaking, who may need to start over to get the meeting back on track. It also pulls the attendants’ attention away from the topic at hand, which means they might miss valuable information being presented.

Being late can also impact the board’s ability to hold a meeting altogether. While rules in governing documents may vary, an HOA is generally required to meet a quorum to legalize the meeting and conduct official business. This means there must be a minimum number of homeowners present to begin. If you’re late, a quorum may not be met, and the board may have to reschedule.

Check out “A Breakdown of HOA Governing Documents” to understand where you can find specifics on quorum in your community.

3. DO participate.

It’s equally important to attend and participate in a meeting. Homeowner participation doesn’t mean you have to be the loudest person in the room. Contributing to the HOA meeting can come in many forms, including:

  • Actively listening to speakers and the issues being presented.

  • Introducing yourself to board members and fellow residents.

  • Asking questions when appropriate.

  • Sharing feedback if asked.

  • Voting on community decisions.

  • Keeping an open mind to the opinions of others.

Woman speaking into a microphone at a meeting

4. DON’T get off topic.

HOA meetings have agendas for a reason. They outline the topics that must be covered during that time. Veering off-topic takes time away from decisions the board needs to prioritize.

Before you head to the meeting, review the HOA meeting agenda and jot down ideas or questions you may have. This way, you’ll have something prepared if you decide to share during the meeting. Speak clearly on the specific topic and keep it short and simple.

5. DO practice professionalism.

Appropriate business meeting etiquette is anchored by professionalism. Even if your HOA meetings aren’t particularly formal, you can still be professional by showing mutual respect, reducing distractions, and giving full attention to the speaker. Examples of ways to be more professional during an HOA meeting include:

·         Silencing your cell phone and putting it away.

·         Refraining from speaking while others are presenting.

·         Not eating or drinking loudly.

·         Waiting for your turn to share thoughts or suggestions.

·         Listening to others—even when their ideas differ from yours.

You can also support a professional environment by keeping a positive attitude throughout the meeting, even in the face of challenging topics.

6. DON’T get into heated debates.

It’s rare for all association homeowners to agree on everything. While residents want what’s best for the community, their opinions on how to achieve that can vary. When people are given the opportunity to express these opinions, things can get heated, and disagreements may arise.

To avoid getting into tense situations with other homeowners during the meeting, remember to:

·         Remain open-minded and respectful during open forums.

·         Stay away from community gossip.

·         Give others a chance to explain their side.

·         Remain calm when others are becoming confrontational.

·         Pause and ask board members to moderate the conversation at another time.

7. DO follow the rules.

Your HOA’s governing documents will have rules and details on how to conduct official meetings. For example, many associations use Robert’s Rules of Order to facilitate discussions and encourage fairness, participation, and organization during meetings.

Familiarizing yourself with these guidelines and procedures can improve the meeting experience. You’ll know what to expect, when to make suggestions, and how to respond to proposals. Following an agreed-upon set of rules also streamlines the process and keeps the meeting moving forward.

More HOA Meeting Etiquette: A Board Member’s Guide to Running Better Meetings

Practicing good HOA meeting etiquette will make HOA meetings more productive and promote unity, transparency, and satisfaction within the community. To help your board make the most of important HOA meetings throughout the year, check out our free ebook, “A Board Member’s Guide to Running Better Meetings.” In it, our team shares insight on everything from meeting preparation to boosting attendance.