How to Take HOA Meeting Minutes: A Step-by-Step Guide with a Free Template

Discover the key to efficient HOA board meetings with our guide to taking meeting minutes! Learn best practices, valuable tips, and get a free template to streamline the process. Elevate your community today!

a year ago   •   6 min read

By Rei Takeda
HOA Meeting Minutes
Table of contents

As a member of your HOA board of directors, taking accurate meeting minutes is just one aspect of running an effective HOA board meeting and essential to your role. Meeting minutes are not only a legal document but also provide direction for the board of directors and help settle disputes. In this article, we'll discuss the importance of meeting minutes and offer a step-by-step guide on taking meeting minutes for your HOA, along with a handy meeting minutes template.

Key Points
  • Meeting minutes are official records that provide a legal document for disputes, evidence in court, and maintain board member accountability.
  • The Secretary is responsible for taking minutes, although other individuals can be authorized to assist in the process.
  • Prepare for the meeting, call it to order on time, record attendance, motions, and action items, review and approve minutes and reports, and format the minutes in a clear and organized manner.
  • Tips for Accurate Meeting Minutes: Be objective, use concise language, record main discussion points, and decisions, avoid personal opinions, and stay organized.

Understanding the Importance of Meeting Minutes

Meeting minutes are official records of what was discussed and agreed upon during a meeting. They provide a legal document that can be used in a dispute or as evidence in court. Meeting minutes also help keep board members accountable by recording their decisions and actions.

HOAs must keep written minutes of their board meetings, including open board meetings (regular, special, and emergency meetings) and executive sessions. Associations must also keep minutes of their annual and special membership meetings, and committees with decision-making authority must also maintain minutes.[1]

Architectural committees must keep a written record of their recommendations and decisions. Minutes should not contain owner comments or a transcript of statements made by directors and attendees. Instead, they should reflect decisions and the reasons for those decisions.

California HOAs

CA state

For California HOAs, open board minutes must be available to the membership within 30 days, and minutes must be permanently available for inspection. Member's access to minutes must be granted within 15 calendar days following approval[2].

Florida HOAs

FL state

Florida HOAs must provide access to the minutes within ten working days after receipt of a written request[3].

Texas HOAs

TX state

In Texas, the board must make meeting records, including approved minutes, available to a member for inspection and copying, at the member's expense, during the regular business hours of the association on the member's written request to the board. The board must also approve the minutes of a board meeting by the next meeting[4].

Who Takes Minutes?

Taking minutes of board and membership meetings is one of the key duties of the Secretary. The Secretary can prepare minutes directly or oversee their preparation by others and then sign them once the board has approved them. Boards can authorize the manager, assistant manager, management company employee, recording secretary, or volunteer homeowner to assist in taking and preparing minutes. Sometimes, the presiding chair acts as a Secretary in small committees. In contrast, a Secretary may be chosen to keep minutes in large and standing committees. Check your HOA's bylaws for clarification.

Recording Open Meetings and Executive Sessions

Written minutes are generally the accepted form of recording for board meetings. Whether or not an electronic recording of a meeting is allowed depends on where your HOA is located, as different states have different rules.

To ensure compliance with the specific rules and regulations governing the recording of board meetings in your state, consult your HOA's legal counsel for accurate guidance and information tailored to your community's needs.


Steps to Taking Meeting Minutes

  1. Prepare for the Meeting: Before the meeting, review the agenda and familiarize yourself with any relevant documents or background information. Ensure you have a pen and paper or a laptop to take notes.
  2. Call the Meeting to Order - On Time: Start the meeting on time and call it to order. Stick to the agenda and keep the conversation on other matters to a minimum.
  3. Record Attendance: Record the attendance by taking a roll call of attendees. Note who is present and who is absent. Record Motions: Record any motions made during the meeting, including who made the motion and who seconded it. Note any discussion on the motion and the outcome of the vote.
  4. Record Action Items: Record any action items discussed during the meeting, including who is responsible for each action item and the deadline for completion.
  5. Review and Approve Minutes: Review your notes and create a summary of the meeting minutes after the meeting. Make sure to include all critical elements discussed above. Once the minutes are complete, present them for approval at the next meeting.
  6. Review and Approve Treasurer's and Committee Reports: As part of the meeting minutes, it's essential to include a summary of the financial reports presented during the meeting. The financial summary includes reviewing the treasurer's report, budget, and any financial statements provided. Record any discussions or decisions regarding the finances, including budget adjustments or approval of financial statements. It's also essential to include the names of any board members who abstained from voting on the financial reports.

Formatting Your Meeting Minutes

Meeting minutes should be formatted in a clear and organized manner. Use headings and subheadings to make it easy to read and follow. Essential information that should be found in every set of minutes includes:

  • The date and time the meeting was called to order
  • The location where the meeting took place
  • The type of meeting
  • A roll call of attendees
  • A summary of actions taken including:
    • Approval of previous minutes
    • Approval of the treasurer's report
    • Committee reports
    • Guest speakers
  • The date of the next meeting
  • The time of adjournment

Meeting minutes should not be a history of the meeting but rather a clear and concise summary of the discussion and decisions made during the session.


Tips for Taking Accurate Meeting Minutes

  • Be objective and stick to the facts
  • Use clear and concise language
  • Record the main points of the discussion and decisions made
  • Don't include personal opinions or comments
  • Be prepared and organized

Final Thoughts

Taking accurate meeting minutes is essential to conducting formal and productive meetings in your HOA. Meeting minutes serve as legal documents that can be used in the event of a dispute or as evidence in court. They also help keep board members accountable and guide future decisions and actions. By following the step-by-step guide and using the meeting minutes template provided, you can ensure that your HOA meetings are efficient and productive. Remember to review and approve the meeting minutes at the next meeting to ensure accuracy and completeness. By doing so, you'll be helping to ensure the success and well-being of your HOA community.

Footnotes & References

  1. California Legislative Information. Corporations Code § 8320. Article 2. Required Records, Reports to Directors and Members.
  2. California Legislative Information. Davis-Stirling §5210 Article 5. Record Inspection.
  3. The 2022 Florida Statutes. Title XL Real and Personal Property. Chapter §718.111(12)(b).
  4. Texas Public Law. Texas Property Code. §209.0051 Open Board Meetings.

Meeting Minutes Template

To make the process of taking meeting minutes even easier, we've included a meeting minutes template. This template contains the essential elements above and provides a clear and organized format for your meeting minutes.

Sign-in or Subscribe to download the Meeting Minutes Template below! Comment if you have questions or suggestions.

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