Similar to the meetings of a city council, HOA board meetings are the place where issues are discussed, decisions are made, and members of the community are kept informed of neighborhood happenings.
In most cases, not everyone can attend every meeting, both board members and homeowners alike. This is why it’s important for careful tracking of HOA meeting minutes. When documented properly, HOA minutes ensure that all residents and board members are on the same page, understanding what’s going on in the neighborhood and what they are responsible for.
Here we provide a sample HOA meeting minutes template as well as the thoughts behind it.
Who is Responsible for Keeping HOA Meeting Minutes?
In most cases, the HOA secretary is responsible for recording meeting minutes. For smaller HOAs without a dedicated secretary, another board member will often be delegated to the task. For consistency’s sake, it’s best to have a single note taker.
Once meeting minutes are recorded, they will then be approved by the HOA board in the following meeting. This process usually takes place at the start of the meeting.
How Do You Write Minutes for an HOA Meeting?
Broadly speaking, HOA meeting minutes serve as a reference. In the likely event that board members need to refer to prior discussions and decisions, they’ll be able to look up recorded minutes and proceed with objective knowledge.
With this in mind, you’ll likely want a digital recording of the minutes. This will make it easier to share them with other board members and residents. Additionally, you’ll want to consider the following strategies:
- Be as concise as possible, limiting the minutes to 1-3 pages. This makes it easier for board members to access the information later.
- Be objective in your observations. This gives your minutes greater authority.
- Use a standardized template for your minutes. Having attendance and other regular occurrences in a standard place will also make it easier to access information.
- Prepare the final document immediately after the conclusion of a meeting. This ensures the accuracy of your minutes.
What Should You Include in HOA Meeting Minutes?
While HOAs vary in size, scope, and bylaws, they all follow a similar formula when it comes to minutes. When recording HOA minutes, you’ll want to include the following:
- HOA name and the type of meeting (monthly, budget, elections, etc.)
- Location and date of the meeting.
- Exact times when the meeting began and ended.
- A list of present and absent board members and their titles.
- Timed approval of the prior meeting’s minutes.
- Reports from officers and committee members.
- Detailed notes of discussions, motions, and votes.
- Results of motions or votes and subsequent actions.
- Names of those who voted for a motion, those who dissented, and those who abstained.
- Financial transactions.
What Should You Not Include in HOA Meeting Minutes?
With brevity and clarity being key traits of effectively recorded minutes, you’ll want to avoid including certain parts of the meeting. Avoid recording the following:
- Irrelevant discussions: As neighbors and friends, HOA board members will often enter tangential discussions that don’t relate to the issue at hand. While a side discussion about the Dallas Cowboys might make for a colorful read, these remarks don’t belong in the meeting minutes. Stick to discussions specifically related to the agenda.
- Subjective observations: As humans, it can be difficult to remain impartial, but this is what the task of recording minutes demands. A good rule of thumb is to avoid adjectives and adverbs. Don’t focus on how, why, or the way in which a person made a remark. Instead, note the content of the statement.
- Verbatim statements: Remember, an HOA secretary is not a stenographer. An HOA board does not need a transcript of the meeting; rather, board members need the necessary details.
When and How Should HOA Meeting Minutes Be Distributed?
By law, HOA meeting minutes must be made available to all members of the association, often within 30 days of a meeting. Additionally, minutes must be distributed to association members upon request for meetings within the current and prior two fiscal years.
That said, in the digital age, there are a variety of ways through which you may distribute recorded minutes.
The old-fashioned method, mailed records, involves a board member printing a copy of meeting minutes and sending them to association members through the mail. However, this method can be time-consuming and, depending on the size of your HOA, very expensive.
Similar to mailing minutes through traditional postage, board members may opt to email a digital copy of minutes to residents upon request.
Posting Minutes on an HOA Website
By far the easiest and most efficient way to disseminate HOA meeting minutes, a website allows you to post HOA meeting minutes in a way that is immediately accessible 24/7. With this method, you can even set it up so that members don’t even need to request a copy of minutes; rather, they can simply access the document on their own.
For example, with Hoampage, your HOA website can have a dedicated section for meeting minutes. Here association members can quickly view a list of the current year’s minutes in an easily accessible manner. Moreover, an HOA website simplifies communication within the community. In addition to minutes, a Hoampage website could also have links to bylaws, CC&Rs, and other important documents ensuring that everyone within your community remains on the same page.