There are many commonly asked questions among HOA board members—novices and veterans alike—but one of the most oft-fielded questions and HOA Tips we discuss: What makes for a good set of meeting minutes?
Incorrectly-kept minutes can get any association board into trouble. They render otherwise proper board actions invalid, and they can even lead to allegations of misconduct. All of this is avoidable simply by ensuring that your board is keeping accurate and appropriate minutes—but how?
Working with a professional manager, who can offer insights and direction, is the best course of action. Beyond there, here are a few insights into what you should always include in your minutes:
- The minutes should focus on what was done at the meeting, not necessarily what was said. Record the action that was taken. Keep things as brief and as straightforward as you can, but also make sure to include the necessary information to prove that the board has done its due diligence. That is to say, note when the board listens to an expert report, when it weighs the pros and cons of different options, and so forth.
- Include all of the meeting details—its time and place, the names of those who attend, an affirmation that a quorum was present, and all motions that are put forth.
- Include recusals from discussions and absentations from voting.
- Don’t include opinions, privileged conversations, personal observations, or any names beyond those involved with specific motions and seconds.
- Also make sure you don’t include comments from home owners, except as noted above; minutes are a record of what is done, not a record of who said what!
The bottom line is that meeting minutes must be properly kept for the HOA to function as it ought—and by following these simple tips, you can ensure that your HOA is doing everything it should, in terms of its minutes.