Assembly Bill 648 (AB 648)

Assembly Bill 648 (AB 648) is a law passed by the California legislature, effective January 1, 2024. The law authorizes HOAs to hold board meetings and member meetings entirely by teleconference (e.g. Zoom).

AB 648 accomplishes its goal by amending Civil Code Section 4090 and by adding Civil Code Section 4926, as follows:

1. Amendment to Civil Code Sec. 4090

Civil Code Sec. 4090 now defines the word “meeting” to include meetings held entirely by teleconference.

2. Addition of Civil Code Sec. 4926

Civil Code Sec. 4926(a) was added to authorize teleconference-only board and member meetings if certain conditions are met. Section 4926(b) was added to create an exception to subsection (a) such that meetings at which ballots are opened and tallied may not be held entirely by teleconference: there also must be a physical meeting location.

Importantly, AB 648 makes no change to Civil Code Section 4090(b), which allows ballots to be opened and tallied at hybrid teleconference & physical meetings. In other words, HOAs can continue the current practice of airing ballot tabulations over Zoom as long as there is also a physical meeting location such as a clubhouse, community room, or management office.

For more information, please contact Pro Elections. We will either provide the information or put you in touch with our in-house lawyer. We do not charge clients for consultations with our in-house lawyer on HOA election questions.

What Do the Experts Say About Ballot-Counting by Zoom?

Leading HOA attorneys say that ballot-counting by Zoom is allowed as long as a physical meeting location is also provided by the association.

Amy K. Tinetti, Esq. of Hughes Gill Cochrane Tinetti PC and delegate to the CA Legislation Action Committee for the CAI Bay Area/Central CA Chapter, stated: “The law now allows associations to conduct meetings entirely by teleconference [but] meetings at which secret ballots are opened and tabulated must include a physical location” (CAI Communicator Magazine, Winter 2024, underline added).

Mark T. Guithues, Esq. of Community Legal Advisors, stated that for meetings where ballots are tabulated, “Civil Code § 4090(b) still exists and allows partially remote meetings” (ECHO Journal Dec 2023).

Ramona Acosta of Tinnelly Law Group and Emeritus Delegate to CAI’s CA Legislative Action Committee, stated: “AB-648 does not apply to meetings at which ballots are to be counted and tabulated.” To tabulate ballots by Zoom, the association must also “specify a physical location in the meeting notice” (Community Associations Institute CAI-GLAC Nov/Dec 2023 Focus Magazine).

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