It’s hard to overstate the importance of HOA meeting minutes. It’s not just that a good, solid set of minutes can ensure organization and transparent communication; it’s not just that keeping minutes keeps everyone on the same page. There are legal components to it, as well: Being transparent about actions that the Board takes—and about Board members who may dissent—can help mitigate any potential liability and diffuse any lawsuits, in worst-case scenarios.
As such, every member of the Board should have some notion of what to include in HOA meeting minutes—including the names of those in attendance; the date, time, and location of the meeting; and, of course, a record of any actions taken or decisions made.
Just as important as what you include in the HOA Meeting Minutes, though, is what you don’t include in the minutes. Including superfluous content will keep your minutes from being really focused, concise, and effective. More importantly, though, it could open the door to potential legal woes.
So what should be omitted from your meeting minutes? The answer lies in our previous statement that you should record actions and decisions. Indeed you should—and you should leave out, well, most anything else. That includes discussion and comments that are made; all that counts is the ultimate motion, the dissention, and whether it passes or not.
Including comments and discussion leaves the door open for members to charge you with defamation or libel—obviously not an ideal situation. In much the same way, and for the same reasons, your minutes should steer clear of commentary and editorializing.
Keep the minutes action-oriented and decision-focused. That’s the secret to getting really good HOA meeting minutes, and to keeping your Association out of any potential, minutes-related trouble!