Clients routinely ask us whether individuals who are not community association unit owners are authorized to attend community association board meetings in Oregon. In general, non-owners may be excluded from board meetings. In fact, there are times when it may be prudent for a board to exclude non-owners from board meetings. For instance, if a board intends to hold a hearing regarding a sensitive issue, it may make sense for the board to limit attendance to only those individuals who have a legal right to attend. Furthermore, the board may always close its meetings to both owners and non-owners in order to meet in executive session to: (A) Consult with legal counsel; or (B) Consider the following: (i) Personnel matters, including salary negotiations and employee discipline; (ii) Negotiation of contracts with third parties; or (iii) Collection of unpaid assessments.
However, unless an association’s governing documents state otherwise, a board may permit non-owners to attend board meetings. There are certainly instances when it may be beneficial to invite non-owners to attend. For example, tenants of owners could be invited to a meeting where the board intends to explain new association rules and regulations. Furthermore, Associations may wish to invite vendors to board meetings to discuss work that they will be doing at the property, and it may make sense for tenants to be included so that they are aware of construction or maintenance schedules.
In all cases, while boards have the right to exclude non-owners from their meetings, care should be taken to apply exclusions consistently against non-owners. Certain tenants should not be permitted to attend if other tenants will be excluded. However, if a non-owner attendee became disruptive at a board meeting, such an individual could be asked to leave.