Are boards of directors required to hold regular board meetings?

Regular meetings are held as required in the bylaws. Further, the board must review current information regarding certain association accounts at least quarterly. (Civil Code §1365.5(a)(1))

Can boards that normally meet less frequently than monthly, hold general session meetings (during the months they would not normally meet) by conference in which all board members are calling in, to approve lien resolutions for delinquent homeowners? I assume that notice requirements are the same, but does the board need to identify a central location where interested homeowners can listen to the board's conversation?

A board must “meet” with the frequency required by the governing documents and directors and members may participate telephonically. A central location may not be required. The phrase “general session” has no application since a “board meeting” occurs whenever a majority of directors gather in person or by phone to discuss or vote on pending association business per §1363.05(j). Corporations Code §7211(a)(6) allows meetings to occur via telephone provided that all who participate can hear each other speak; and, even meetings conducted telephonically must require a “membership forum” or comment period. A meeting to authorize liens must be approved at an open meeting of the board, not in executive session. Holding meetings exclusively by telephone is generally not a good idea.

If such meetings are allowed, can they be conducted without a homeowner open forum?

No. Under the Open Meeting Act, any member may speak “at any meeting of the association or the board of directors, except for meetings of the board held in executive session.”

Can non-members attend board meetings?

Community associations are private organizations, so meetings can be closed to nonmembers. Only members have a right to attend board meetings. (Civil Code §1363.05(b))