The HOA Board Minutes: What are they? What should be included?
HOA Board minutes can be invaluable. Oftentimes it is done by a voted-in Secretary, and since Board terms are generally a year (sometimes more) there is a certain amount of turnover in the position of the minute takers. Anyone reviewing the minutes should have a clear sense of what happened at the meeting. Here are some simple guidelines that will explain why minutes are important and what should be included. Use this guide to HOA Meeting Minutes to take the guesswork out of your task.
Why HOA Board Minutes Matter
- First, they are the only written record of issues in your neighborhood or complex. You don’t want to keep addressing the same problems over and over.
- Second, in the case of a potential buyer of a property, concise, well-organized HOA minutes will make your property appear even more appealing.
- Third, in case of a legal dispute, you may have to rely on your written notes. Board minute taking doesn’t have to be intimidating. With some simple preparation, it can be a simple and rewarding way to participate in your community.
Tips for HOA Meeting Minutes
Technology Is Your Friend
Laptops and recording devices are excellent to use by the voted-in Secretary. However, others attending the meeting should not be allowed to record, and some states prohibit this. Once voice recordings are transcribed, the recording should be erased. Minutes can then be shared via email and a paper copy is also sent to residents.
So is the Cloud
As mentioned before, there is usually quite a bit of turnover in an HOA board. So it’s best to keep your minutes where they can be accessed by the right people, with easy-to-use permission settings. This way, you can easily remove the old secretary and add the new one when the time comes. MoneyMinder HOA Software does just this task and more for you, for just $149 per year.
Short and to the Point
HOA Board Meeting minutes should record what happened in the meeting, not what was said in the meeting. Minutes are a legal document that can be used as a reference when actions are taken and voted on. If your HOA has a mandated quorum, ensure that the numbers of individuals mandated are present to conduct a meeting. Your HOA bylaws will state how many people are required to meet and vote.
Use a Template
Use or create a template to organize your meeting minutes. Examples can be found online, or review past minutes to see effective formats. Sometimes property management companies will provide guidance or even a professional minute-taker as part of the fees that the HOA pays.
HOA Meeting Minute Must-Haves
- Legal Name of the association
- Meeting Specifics:
- Date of the meeting
- Type (Regular, Special, Executive)
- Which Directors, with a title (President, Vice President), were present
- Which Directors, with title, were absent
- List any guests like an accountant, presenter, lawyer, etc.
- Resident attendees are not required to be recorded
- Quorum: Were there enough HOA Board Directors to have an official meeting?
- Start and Finish Times
- Issues discussed at the meeting
- Board Actions: any actions presented and voted on during the meeting should be recorded.
If your HOA Board of Directors feels that an Executive Session is needed, they should make that motion. In the course of an Executive Session minutes should not be taken as they are available to all residents and would ruin the private nature of an Executive Session.
Minutes should be approved by the Board if your HOA meets annually. This doesn’t happen until the next meeting. Some HOA’s differ on whether or not minutes are signed. However, they should be safely stored in a minutes file as well as electronically, such as “in the cloud” as mentioned above.
Taking the minutes is an important job, but as long as you have all of these aspects covered, you will be helping your Homeowners Association, Property Owners Association or Condo Association immensely.