HOA Minutes

Posted on May 13, 2009. Filed under: Meetings | Tags: , , , , , |

If I had a dollar for every HOA secretary that procrastinated on producing the minutes of their association’s meetings, I’d be on the beach sipping margaritas instead of writing this blog.  If you are the lucky individual selected to serve as the secretary for your homeowners association, I have good news!  The job may not be as onerous as you believe it to be.

Most HOA board members labor under the misconception that minutes must recount everything that happened at a meeting including all the discussion that led to board decisions.  Frankly, I have reviewed minutes that include the Architectural Control Commitee report details right down to the color and the price of the roofing materials being proposed by an owner (including one board member’s comments about their personal dislike of the materials selected).

Treasurer’s Report with too much detail:

Jason Strideright gave the treasurers report.  He indicated that since the board meets the first week of every month, it does not provide the accountant with enough time to prepare monthly reports and get them to the board with time left to review the reports.  Jason suggested that the board consider closing the books on the 20th of each month to allow the needed time for board review.  Bill Smith responded that it might just be easier to change the date of the meeting.   Bill made a motion to move the date of the meeting, Jason seconded the motion, motion carried.

Treasurer’s Report:

Given the need for more time between the end of month transaction reports and the board meetings to review them, a motion was made (Bill Smith) to change the date of the monthly board meeting from the first week of the month to the third week of each month.  Motion carried.

Too much detail in an association’s minutes can get the association into hot water.  I recently heard someone say, the only reason your minutes will be used again is in a court room.  For this reason, it is best to stick to the basics.  Minutes should capture the following details:
 
  • Name of the Association, date, time and location of meeting
  • Attendance at the meeting and if a quorum was achieved
  • Approval of the minutes of the last meeting
  • Approval of the treasurers report
  • Old business (a recounting of decisions made)
  • New business (again a recounting of decisions made)
  • Issues to be carried forward to the next meeting and the date of that meeting
  • Time of adjournment

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14 Responses to “HOA Minutes”

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Thank you very much for your help. Our HOA is doing everything wrong where minutes are concerned and this will help me to approach the Board to make changes and do it right. I am the new Secretary and needed this sort of help.

What is proper conduct for making corrections to Board minutes? Can corrections be suggested via e-mail including all the directors and then the final approved in the actual meeting???

I was recently elected as secretary of our HOA (112 units on a PUD) in South Jordan, UT. I’m looking for any information that will be helpful to me. Thanks

Our HOA secretary takes months to get the minutes out to the membership. We are a small, 10 member HOA, and we have lots of problems. I was unable to attend the annual meeting in January, and would really like to see the minutes. What can I say to the membership that will be somewhat authoritative without sounding like a cranky old lady?

Thanks for the great article! I’ve been taking minutes for about 5 years and have been running my company TheMinuteMan.Net for the last 2.

One of the hardest things to educate Boards on is the brevity of proper minutes. Many see the minutes as a newsletter for homeowners who are not present at the meeting. Once I explain the legal protection inherent in concise minutes they begin to see the benefits.

The misconception also spills over to my recording secretaries when they first start taking minutes. Once I show how a few paragraphs can be trimmed to a couple sentences and say the same thing in a much more effective way (as you did above) then the work improves.

Thanks again for the article — I’ll be linking this as a reference for sure.

David John Hall

Our HOA Board meets once a month and I’ve finally convinced them to post their meeting minutes on our HOA website. Since homeowners are not permitted to attend these monthly meetings, it’s imperative to have the minutes from those meetings so we know what’s going on.

I believe it is also necessary for the individual committees that support the board to post their meeting minutes as well…especially the Architectural Control Committee. We should know, without naming names and addresses, exactly what applications for changes have been approved and which have been denied. Telling us: 5 applications submitted, 3 approved, 2 denied TELLS ME NOTHING. Give me a 2 or 3 word description of each application and whether or not it was approved.

Meeting Minutes are essential to the homeowners. We give 5 people the power to make decisions, and the committees are all made up of their buddies, and they think they have no responsibility to report to the homeowners. We have an Organizational Chart, and the Homeowners are still at the top of that chart. The Board and the Committees MUST report to the homeowners.

The President I work w/ claims i may not abbreviate anything–dates, numbers, etc. Anyone else have this experience. i have found no laws or rules to support this claim.

our Association has changed one of our policies: it now states the association can charge a fee for the homeowner to inspect records, since there is no amount fixed to the policy they can impose any amount they wish. They have chosen that homeowners will charge $50 an hour.
. These are contracts and records, we the homeowners, have a right to see and pay for with our dues. Is this legal?

Marlene, In Colorado we have something called ” The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act or (CCIOA), and it is a comprehensive statute covering the creation and operation of common interest communities (CIC’s). both of these will tell you what you and your elected board can and can not do regarding homeowner associations. See if your state has anything similar to these two acts. Karen

Hi Karen,

Check your state laws. In Washington state, while it clearly states that owners have the right to view all records, it also says, “The association may impose and collect a reasonable charge for copies and any reasonable costs incurred by the association in providing access to records.”

I recently took on the position of a Association Supervisor for 17 gated communities. I take the minutes for every meeting and agree that they should be short and sweet and that is why they call them minutes. The Secretaries of these Associations have the easiest job due to the fact I have spoiled them and take all the minutes. If possible I try to make the minutes fit on one page and I have them in the mail with-in 7 days. In my absence at a meeting the President wrote the minutes and they were darn near 3 pages. The detail of names of plants, trees, paint colors etc. was way to much. :):)

[...] Meeting minutes – when you think “secretary” most people think “meeting minutes”.  There is a definite skill involved in writing good meeting minutes.  They should capture who was at the meeting and the specific decisions that were made.  Far too often the association secretary includes too much detail in the minutes – this can come back to haunt you later.  To learn more about taking great minutes read:  HOA Minutes. [...]

Thanks for this easy to understand HOA meeting minute information. This information is much needed and appreciated.

Susan
April 28, 2012

I was basically browsing for strategies for my very own website and observed your posting, “HOA Minutes Understanding Homeowners Associations”,
would you care if perhaps I personally work with a number of ur points?

I am grateful -Sherri


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    Whether you are a homeowner or a community board member, a degree of reasonableness will go a long way.

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