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.
In this article:
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
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
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 Not to Include in HOA Board Meeting Minutes
When learning how to record HOA meeting minutes, 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.
Here are the items you shouldn’t include 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.
Board Meeting Minutes Template
If you want a basic board meeting minutes example, you can refer to the image below as your guide. You can also save the same HOA meeting minutes template 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. Soon enough, you’ll have the process memorized like the back of your hand.
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