For any meeting the HOA board holds, the secretary should record HOA meeting minutes. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that there’s a proper way to go about this. Here, we discuss just that and provide you with a helpful HOA meeting minutes template.
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The Importance of an HOA Meeting Minutes Template
Not everyone knows how to record minutes properly, especially when it’s their first time. If you’re finding it difficult to do the same, then you know why a simple meeting minutes template is valuable.
A sample of minutes of meeting can greatly help anyone starting out with minutes-taking. With a template, you can simply input the necessary information in and end up with pretty thorough minutes of the meeting. It also acts as a starting point of sorts, allowing you to follow a standard format and then deviate from it as you see fit. An HOA meeting minutes template (provided below) can also give you an idea of how minutes should look and develop your own style or process.
But, looking at examples meeting minutes usually isn’t enough. You must also learn what actually goes into writing minutes and what you shouldn’t include.
Why Record HOA Meeting Minutes?
The purpose of any HOA meeting minutes is to serve as a reference you can return to in case of any disputes or confusion. It’s an official record detailing what was discussed in a meeting and what actions were taken. Additionally, it allows others who didn’t attend the meeting to stay informed. It can even be used in court.
In most states, recording minutes is mandatory in official meetings where you’ve reached a quorum. California, for instance, outlines it in Corporations Code Section 8230. For most associations, the board secretary takes on the responsibility of recording meeting minutes. However, this task can also be delegated to someone else. Though, the board secretary will need to sign off on the final version of the minutes.
What to Include in HOA Board Meeting Minutes
Now that you know who should do the recording and why it’s important, it’s time to learn what to include in those minutes. What exactly are the HOA meeting minutes requirements to take into account?
1. The Basics
How do you write HOA meeting minutes? When you record HOA meeting minutes, jot down the basic details. This includes the association’s name, what type of meeting it is, the time and date of the meeting, and the place of the meeting. You should also write down what time the president called the meeting to order.
Additionally, attendance is important, so make sure to include the list of present and absent board members as well as their positions on the board. If you have any guest speakers present, include that, too.
After that, the meeting will go on to review and approve the minutes of the previous meeting. This will include who motioned the approval of the prior minutes and who seconded the motion.
2. Reports and Finances
What should HOA meeting minutes include? Your minutes will also include any reports that were presented during the meeting. Officer and committee member reports fall under this, as well as financial reports and managers’ reports. Don’t forget to write down who gave the report and at what time.
It’s important to review the association’s finances during board meetings, so make sure to write down the details of the financial report. This includes the total assets as of the date of the meeting, the total operating fund, reserve expenses, delinquencies, and any liens placed on homeowner property. If your association is opening or closing a bank account, your minutes must also reflect that.
3. Motions, Votes, and Discussions
Finally, any board meeting minutes must also include all the motions, votes, and discussions that transpired. Make sure to write down who made the motions, who seconded them, and whether or not they were approved. If you discussed any unfinished business from the prior meeting, write it down. Any new business should also make it to your record of the meeting. You should also include any actions taken during the meeting.
If you voted on an item, jot down the names of those who voted in favor of the motion, those who dissented, and those who abstained. End your meeting minutes with the date and time of the next meeting, as well as the time the president adjourned the current meeting.
What Should Not Be Included in Meeting Minutes
When learning how to take minutes at a board meeting, sometimes, it’s not enough to know what should go into it. If this is your first time recording minutes, there are some things you must also leave out.
How do you know what not to include in meeting minutes? Here are the items you shouldn’t record in your HOA meeting minutes:
1. Irrelevant Discussions
Sometimes, board members go into a tangent and start discussing matters unrelated to the agenda. As the recorder of the minutes, you don’t have to include these irrelevant conversations. They only serve to muddle the minutes. Always remember to stick to the agenda and only jot down items associated with it.
2. Personal Opinions and Emotions
As the recorder of the minutes, you need to practice impartiality. Don’t include any personal opinions or feelings when writing down the meeting minutes. Making unnecessary comments on certain actions or motions taken is the quality of a bad minutes recorder.
3. Word-for-Word Dialogue
Keep in mind that meeting minutes aren’t transcripts. You should only include the necessary details and make them as brief as possible without sacrificing information. Don’t write down word-for-word conversations that took place between board members, even if their discussions were relevant to the topic at hand.
4. Special Formatting
Your meeting minutes should follow a standard format or layout. Stay away from any special formatting, like underlining or italicizing certain actions to put emphasis on them. A good recorder of meeting minutes practices uniform writing. Putting words in bold or using unnecessary punctuation (like exclamation points and quotation marks) can even appear as accusatory or slanderous.
How to Be a Good Recorder of Meeting Minutes
The qualities of a good recorder of meeting minutes are simple — and just about anyone can possess them. First of all, you must remain impartial and objective. Avoid writing personal comments down, as stated above. A good recorder also isn’t afraid to ask for clarification on items. It’s infinitely better to ask someone to repeat themselves than to make your own assumptions and make erroneous records.
Furthermore, if you want to excel at your job of recording minutes, you must work fast. This doesn’t only apply to the actual recording of the minutes, though. You must also finalize the minutes as soon as you can following the meeting’s adjournment. This way, board members and homeowners can review them immediately.
As a recorder of minutes, don’t be afraid of asking for help. If you have an HOA management company, you can seek guidance from them. You can also search online for how to write minutes of a meeting example.
HOA Meeting Minutes FAQs
Are HOA meeting minutes public record?
Homeowners have a right to review open board meeting minutes. Thus, the board should make these minutes available to them. Executive session minutes, on the other hand, must remain private. Though, they may become discoverable in the event of litigation.
When should HOA meeting minutes be distributed?
Your state laws should give you the answer to this. For example, in California, Civil Code Section 4950 clearly mandates HOAs to make minutes available to all members within 30 days of the meeting. Similar requirements may be outlined in your governing documents as well.
Can minutes of a meeting be changed?
The minutes of a meeting are still subject to change if the board has yet to approve them. The secretary prepares and finalizes the minutes before submitting them for approval at the next HOA board meeting. In some cases, you may even be able to change the minutes after approval.
Do meeting minutes need to be signed?
The HOA secretary, who is normally in charge of recording the minutes, must usually sign the minutes after preparing and finalizing them. When the board has given their approval of the minutes, it is also common practice to have them sign the document as proof.
Can I record an HOA meeting?
Audio or video recording an HOA meeting is something many associations do, though only the board generally has the power to do so. Many boards prohibit members from recording the meeting in the same way. Typically, boards use these recordings as a guide to take down the minutes later on. Since such recordings might be used against the HOA, though, it is best to delete them after recording the minutes.
Board Meeting Minutes Template Word Format
A quick search online will give you plenty of board meeting minutes examples, but not all of them are freely available. If you want a board meeting minutes sample for no charge, you can refer to the image below as your guide. You can also download and save the same template for recording meeting minutes here.
HOA Meeting Minutes Done Right
Taking down the meeting minutes can be difficult if you don’t know where to begin. However, with the right attitude, discipline, and guidance, just about anyone can record HOA meeting minutes. Record your meeting minutes the correct way by following this guide. Look for sample board meeting minutes online or download the HOA meeting minutes template we provided. Soon enough, you’ll have the process memorized like the back of your hand.
An HOA management company can also help you manage your minutes of the meeting or provide you with an HOA meeting minutes template. Begin your search for the best one in your area today using our comprehensive online directory.
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