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Tick-Tock: Exploring Your HOA Meeting Minutes

man taking notes on a notepad

Over the past 40+ years, Associa community managers have attended countless board meetings and reviewed many homeowners' association (HOA) meeting minutes. In this blog, we'll explore what HOA meeting minutes are, take a closer look at their purpose, and detail best practices for taking and keeping good meeting minutes.  

What are HOA meeting minutes?

HOA meeting minutes are an official record of the actions taken by board members at a board meeting. Meeting minutes should be brief, objective, and reflect the actions taken at a meeting--not a complete transcript of what was said and opinions that were expressed.    

What should be included in the HOA meeting minutes?

If the HOA board secretary isn’t taking minutes, he or she must appoint a recorder or assistant secretary to do so. The following are required to be recorded in HOA meeting minutes:

  • Association name and meeting type (monthly, annual, special, etc.)
  • Meeting location and date 
  • Time the meeting was called to order and adjourned
  • Present and absent board members and their officer positions
  • Approval of prior minutes
  • Officer and committee member reports
  • New business that was discussed and open discussions
  • All motions (whether or not they were approved) and actions that were taken
  • Names of those who voted for a motion, dissented, and abstained
  • All financial transactions (reserve expenses, opening or closing of a bank account, etc.)

Make sure to check your local and state laws, as different states may have varying HOA board meeting minutes legal requirements.

Typically, the HOA board secretary is responsible for taking meeting minutes. Want to learn more about the HOA board secretary and other HOA board member roles? Check out our beginner's guide to HOAs

Do meeting minutes have to be approved?

Yes, HOA board meeting minutes must be approved. In fact, approving board meeting minutes is one of the most important actions taken at a meeting. During each board meeting where a quorum is met, all board members must approve the minutes from the previous meeting. After approval, the secretary must sign the minutes to make them official.

Who can access and view HOA meeting minutes?

Board members and residents aren’t the only people who read or have access to meeting minutes. Recently, new residents, realtors, bankers, and mortgage companies have been requesting access to minutes to reference for sales transactions. Keep in mind that minutes are the legal record of the association and play a key role in financial business, so it’s important to make sure they’re accurate and acceptable for others to view.

How can I take good HOA minutes?

The first step to taking good minutes is to hold a good meeting. If there's an agenda and all board members have a solid understanding of how to run a successful meeting, it’ll be easier for the secretary, recorder, or assistant secretary to stay focused and take good minutes. The following are some additional tips for taking good HOA meeting minutes:

  • Take attendance
  • Be brief and concise
  • Limit minutes to about two pages
  • Be objective
  • Ask for clarification if needed
  • Use a template
  • Prepare minutes as soon as possible after the meeting 

Looking for more ways to improve your HOA meetings? Check out our board member's guide to running better HOA meetings

Why is it important to take good HOA meeting minutes?  

It’s essential to take good minutes because they’re a legal document of the association and can be used in a court of law. When taking minutes, ask yourself if you'd be comfortable reading them in court and ensure they accurately explain why an action was taken.

Should minutes be taken at all HOA board meetings?

Yes, minutes are required by law to be taken at all official board meetings. However, if a meeting doesn’t meet quorum, it isn't official, and no minutes should be taken. Be sure to note all missed or canceled meetings in the minute book for future records.

When should HOA meeting minutes be distributed? 

While it varies, community members should typically receive HOA meeting minutes within 30 days of the meeting. As always, check your governing documents and relevant laws, as some areas have specific rules for when minutes must be delivered before penalties are enforced. 

How long should HOA meeting minutes be kept?

Because HOA meeting minutes are the official record of the association, they should be retained indefinitely. However, official laws for keeping HOA meeting minutes (both in print and digitally) do vary by association and state.

Get Your HOA Board Meeting Minutes Template 

Now you have all the important information you need to craft HOA meeting minutes, but we want to provide even more help. We created a homeowners' association board meeting minutes template that you can use to record and deliver great documents. Check it out today!