Meeting minutes are extremely important in HOA communities. First off, associations are legally required to keep written minutes of board meetings. They’re a way to keep residents updated with the latest actions taken by the board. They can even be requested by realtors, mortgage companies, and future residents as a way to get more insight into the financials of the community. That’s why it’s critical for your board to take solid meeting minutes.
Knowing the importance of minutes, and the fact these are legal documents that can have ramifications if the wrong information is included, it’s important to know what should and should not be included. When taking minutes for your community, be sure to avoid including the following two things.
Meeting minutes must focus on what was done, not what was said. Therefore, it’s critical that you never include personal conversations that occurred during the meeting. This is especially important when it comes to owner comments. This can put the board in a legal dilemma, as it could create claims of liability for breach of fiduciary duty and even possible claims of defamation if the minutes become evidence for other claims against the board and the association according to HOAManagement.com.
Again, minutes are for actions, not debates, discussions, or thoughts. Simply stick to the clear and simple facts of what was accomplished and leave out everything else. According to HOALeader.com,
“Under California law, if the association distributes something where they're debating an issue and it's beyond being educational and goes into advocating a position, they've opened the possibility that they have to give equal access to any member who wants to advocate on that issue.”
We recommend making it easy for residents to access meeting minutes by saving them within the FRONTSTEPS portal. With our new document storage enhancements, you can create a Meeting Minutes folder and save each set of minutes to the folder, making it simple for anyone living in the community to access the minutes of their choice. To keep your notes organized, we recommend saving each document with the date of the board meeting in the file’s name.
For more tips on keeping residents in the loop, download our free resident engagement guide!