In Oregon, both the Planned Community Act and the Condominium Act were amended in 2007 to add provisions governing electronic notice of meetings. These statutes were a great help to Associations because we know that electronic notices reach more people and save Associations (and their managers) considerable amounts of time and money.
The electronic notice statutes generally provide: “. . .any notice, information or other written material required to be given to a unit owner or director under the declaration or bylaws or this chapter, may be given by electronic mail, facsimile or other form of electronic communication acceptable to the board of directors.” ORS 94.652; 100.423. Electronic notice is available in the discretion of the board of directors even if there are contrary notice provisions in the Association’s governing documents.
These provisions are consistent with the Nonprofit Corporations Act, which provides that notice be provided “. . . in a fair and reasonable manner.” ORS 65.214. The remainder of the Nonprofit Corporations Act provision covers the contents of the notice, not the method of distribution.
Associations should be aware of a few specific exceptions to the electronic notice provisions contained in ORS 94.652 and 100.423.
Electronic notice is not authorized for:
- Failure to pay an assessment;
- Foreclosure of an association lien;
- Actions by the association against a unit owner; or
- Offers to use a dispute resolution program.
In addition, before relying on electronic notice for meetings, the Association needs to provide owners the opportunity to opt-out of electronic notification. If your Board wishes to begin providing notice electronically, we recommend that you adopt a resolution which mirrors the statutory language. The Board should then send the resolution to all owners in accordance with the usual procedures of the governing documents with a clear statement of what types of future notices will be sent via email for those who do not opt out. The Board should request that owners provide their preferred email address for notification purposes or notify the Board that they wish to opt-out of receiving electronic notices. Any non-responding owners should be treated as having opted-out of electronic notification, and you should continue to send notices to those owners according to the usual procedures.
Stay tuned for Part 3: Voting in the Digital Age.