HOA Transparency and Your Meeting Minutes –
Lately, this blog has talked a great deal about the concept of HOA transparency—of being open and honest and up-front about everything your HOA board does. This is vital for ensuring fairness and full legal compliance, whether you’re taking bids on new vendors or reimbursing board members for out-of-pocket expenses. However, did you know that transparency is, in some situations, an actual requirement of law? In some states, HOA boards are required to give full disclosure of what is discussed in their meetings, especially as far as finance is concerned.
And even if you don’t live in such a state, it’s still a good idea to maintain accurate and comprehensive meeting minutes, and to make them available to all community members. Creating a way to view meeting minutes on the community website is a good way to make sure that everyone is involved, and there are no accusations of secrecy. In addition to making those meetings accessible, though, your HOA should also make them complete—to an extent. Side comments and gossipy remarks from residents don’t need to be in your minutes—but all of the following elements do:
- The date and the time of the meeting.
- The location or venue where the meeting was held.
- A full list of the names of board members in attendance, as well as a confirmation that there was a quorum present.
- The number of community members in attendance, if any.
- A confirmation that the previous meeting’s minutes were approved.
- A recap of previous issues and “old business.”
- Details of any new motions brought forward by board members.
- A chronicle of how the voting on these motions transpired.
- A summary of whatever new board decisions were reached.
- The time of the meeting’s conclusion.
Making sure the minutes are complete yet streamlined, and focused on pertinent HOA business, then making those minutes easily accessible to all, is one of the best things your board can do to maximize HOA transparency.