A Homeowners Association (HOA) has a number of issues to deal with at each meeting, and, unfortunately, one of the biggest of these issues that can cause trouble for the board is the meeting minutes.
Although keeping the minutes might seem like a tediously simple task, if, for some reason, the meeting minutes are not kept properly, it can get the HOA board into big trouble. In some cases, minutes that are not kept properly may invalidate proper board actions, lead to a series of claims for defamation or even support a series of claims for a breach of the board’s fiduciary duty. Fortunately, we at National Property Management Group–a property management company serving Santa Clarita–have compiled a list of what needs to be included in the minutes, and what should be left out of it.
Purpose of HOA Meeting Minutes
The minutes are meant to be used as an outline for what happens at a meeting. They serve the purpose to ensure that the decisions and the actions that result from the meeting are not forgotten or lost. They need to include motions that are passed, as well as motions that are proposed, even if they are not adopted by the actual board.
Once you are fully aware that the minutes serve as any action that is taken, you will understand that the minutes will not be a verbatim transcript of everything that is said during the meeting. Minutes also need to be as concise as possible. Everything that the board does needs to be included; for example, it reviewed a report and then made a specific decision, but not details of the debate or discussion that led to the decision. You should always keep in mind that the minutes are able to be used as a tool against the HOA in a litigation process, which is why minutes should be kept short and concise.
Things to Include in the Minutes
Things that should always be included in the minutes are as following:
- Everything that done at the meeting, not exactly what was said, but rather a recording of the details that reflect the action that was taken. It is important to keep it simple and short but include the necessary information that supports the fact that the board, did in fact, perform their due diligence.
- Specific details of the meeting such as the location, time and date, as well as the names of those in attendance, if a quorum was reached, the directors that were absent and any motions that were proposed.
- Abstentions from voting as well as recusals from discussions.
What Not to Include in HOA Meeting Minutes
Just as there are certain things that should be included, there are also a number of things that need to be completely left out, which includes:
- Any privileged conversations.
- Any opinions that are voiced during the meeting.
- Personal observations that are included inflammatory.
- Names, except for any motions or seconds.
- Any owner comments.
The main thing to remember is that the minutes that are being created will not be a record of who said what, but rather a record of specific actions that are taken. Once the meeting minutes have been approved by the HOA board in Santa Clarita, they have to be signed by the secretary, which confirms that the minutes are an official record of the meeting. To learn more about taking effective HOA meeting minutes, or hiring a technologically advanced property management company for your Santa Clarita property management needs, contact National Property Management Group.
National Property Management Group
28009 Smyth Drive
Valencia, CA 91355