Effective Association Record Keeping

Effective Association Record Keeping

It Begins With Concise, Complete Meeting Minutes

By Laura Manning-Hudson / Published October 2022

Photo by iStockphoto.com/Mohamad Faizal Bin Ramli

Community association board meetings are where the rubber meets the road for practically all association administrative matters. The agendas for these meetings and the minutes that ensue form a vital record of all the matters that have come before the directors of an association over the course of the entire lifespan of a community. Given the significance of the meetings, it is imperative for effective notes or “meeting minutes” to be kept to document all of the pertinent information from each and every official assembly. 

     As a general rule, meeting minutes should be thorough but concise. They are not intended to be a transcript of everything said at a meeting. 

     Instead, the best approach is to start by stating the date, time, and place of the meeting; listing the board members present/absent and additional participants such as the association property manager or attorney; and noting the name of the individual taking the minutes. A copy of the agenda and notice should be attached to the minutes.

     Once all of that is out of the way, the minutes should include a list of all the issues and reports that were presented and discussed at the meeting. For each issue which resulted in a motion, the minutes should include the exact wording of the motion, the names of the directors who made the motion and seconded it, and whether the motion passed or failed. 

     For the votes on motions, the meeting minutes need not include the names of the directors voting in favor or opposed, though board members could specifically request that their vote be noted in the minutes. Also, any board member who abstains from voting should be noted in the minutes. 

     For those tasked with taking the meeting minutes, bear in mind that minutes are not intended to be a record of all the viewpoints expressed on every matter that came before the board. The key is to be brief but comprehensive. Include a complete list of all the matters that were discussed, list any speakers, and conclude with any outcomes or decisions for each. 

     It is always best to prepare the minutes as quickly as possible after each meeting in order to send the draft to the board members and property manager while it is still fresh in their memory. Secure their feedback, edits, and approval as quickly as possible; then finalize the minutes by entering them into the digital and paper files of the association’s official records. 

     The keeping and recording of community association board meeting minutes should not take a significant amount of time by directors and property managers. By taking the correct approach and recording concise yet complete minutes for each meeting as expeditiously as possible, associations can help ensure their official records are detailed and comprehensive.

Laura Manning-Hudson

Shareholder, Siegfried Rivera

     Laura Manning-Hudson is a shareholder with the law firm of Siegfried Rivera who is board certified as an expert in community association law by the Florida Bar and has focused on association matters since 1998. She is the firm’s managing shareholder of its West Palm Beach office and is also one of its most prolific contributors to its association law blog at www.FloridaHOALawyerBlog.com. The firm also maintains offices in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, and its attorneys focus on real estate, community association, construction, and insurance law. For more information, visit www.SiegfriedRivera.com or call 1-800-737-1390.