Keeping accurate meeting minutes isn’t optional, it’s a requirement. For any formal HOA meetings where quorum is achieved, minutes should be taken. In addition, these documents, once approved, must be retained indefinitely. They become part of the permanent records of the association, available for anyone to see at any time.
That being said, it is important to note that meeting minutes are not a transcription of everything that occurred. They should be short and to the point, outlining essential decisions that were made, motions passed, or discussions shelved for a later date. Furthermore, notes should be objective and not include any personal opinions or inflammatory remarks. Remember: meetings are available for review by members, so they should not include any sensitive or potentially controversial information, just the facts.
So, what exactly should HOA meeting minutes include?
- The date of the meeting and the time that it was called to order.
- Names of board members, guest speakers, and other essential personnel in attendance and those who were absent.
- Approval of previous meeting minutes.
- Review of current association finances.
- Any motions that were presented and by whom, as well as who seconded them.
- Any voting that took place, who voted yea or nay, and the final outcome.
- Any actions that were taken or agreed upon for the future.
- Resolution of items held over from previous meetings or unfinished business from the current meeting.
- New business that was discussed.
- Open discussion.
- Date and time of the next meeting.
- Time the meeting was adjourned.
Avoid including lengthy descriptions of discussions that took place; focus on any decisions that were made or actions taken. It doesn’t matter who said what, just what was decided upon. Having a standard template that is used can help the secretary – or whomever is tasked with keeping minutes – to stay on track and record pertinent information. Using the same format for each meeting can establish consistency and a uniform process no matter who is doing the recording. Try to write up notes as soon as possible after the meeting so that they are still top of mind.
Partnering with a property management company like Kuester can provide the guidance and support necessary for your HOA to run more efficient and effective meetings. Stop wasting time or taking superfluous notes and create a process that works for your association and helps mitigate risk.