California, like most states, has passed legislation defining how HOAs manage their affairs. Here, it’s called the...
What Should Be Included in HOA Meeting Minutes?
HOA meeting minutes are an official record of the actions taken by board members at a board meeting. Meeting minutes should be brief, objective, and reflect the actions taken at a meeting – not simply a complete transcript of what was said and opinions that were expressed. Essentially, the purpose of any HOA meeting minutes is to serve as a reference you can turn to in case of any disputes or confusion. It’s an official record detailing what was discussed in a meeting and what actions were taken. Additionally, it allows others who didn’t attend the meeting to stay informed.
In most states, recording minutes is mandatory in official meetings where you’ve reached a quorum. For most associations, the board secretary takes on the responsibility of recording meeting minutes (although the task can be delegated to another board member, the board secretary will still need to sign off on the minutes once completed). The association can also hire a recording secretary or the management company to the minutes.
What should be included in the HOA meeting minutes?
If the board secretary isn’t taking minutes, he or she must appoint a recorder or assistant secretary to do so. The following are required to be recorded in HOA meeting minutes:
- The name of the association
- The type of meeting being held (special meeting, annual meeting, monthly meeting, etc.)
- The date and location of the meeting
- The time at which the meeting began and adjourned
- A roll call of those who are present and absent with their respective board positions
- Approval of previous minutes
- Committee reports
- New business from open discussions
- All motions, including approved and disapproved motions
- Actions that are taken
- Names of members who voted ‘abstained’ or dissented for a motion
- A record of all financial transactions including bank account opening and closing, reserve expenditure, etc.
The most important part of meeting minutes is generally the major discussions, reports, motions, and votes that took place. If a member made a motion that was not later withdrawn, it must be specified along with the name of the member who made the motion. If any task force or committee was made, specify the members who were assigned or volunteered. Discussions can get lengthy during a meeting, but the HOA meeting minutes shouldn’t reflect that – keep them straight to the point and concise.
Here are a few additional things to keep in mind when writing your HOA meeting minutes:
- Be brief and impartial: Do not include any personal opinions in your HOA minutes. Make sure the minutes remain detached from emotions or personal qualities in any way.
- Keep the writing uniform: There should be no use of underlining, bolding, or other types of emphasis used in any type of minutes documents. This also goes for quotes or suggestions of statements that could appear as slander or accusations during any meeting debates.
- Leave out unnecessary dialogue: Irrelevant conversations that took place between members are not important. Keep in mind that minutes are not a transcript; they’re simply recording the essential information.
- Use a template: If you are having trouble recording minutes, it may help to refer to a homeowners association meeting minutes template. Sample HOA meeting minutes can help streamline what exactly should be taken down and in what format.
Understanding the importance of HOA meeting minutes
The minutes’ specifics more or less can depend on what type of meeting was being held and if the minutes are meant to be published. Minutes are kept forever, which is different from official records that are tossed out after seven years. This makes it even more important to keep HOA meeting minutes concise, accurate, and to-the-point.