Law requires that HOA boards take meeting minutes during board meetings. But, it is also important for the board’s process and sanity to keep everything documented. For instance, meeting minutes are helpful when board members debate and come to a misunderstanding about a particular topic. Members can refer back to the minutes to recall what was actually said. This way the facts are always out on the table. The “art” of taking minutes is something all board members should be knowledgeable about. So, here are a few tips to mastering HOA board meeting minutes.

Minutes are only required for the agenda

One rule to remember when taking meeting minutes is that they are only required for the agenda portion. Common Interest Community Association Act (CICAA) regulates all Illinois homeowners’ associations, while condos are covered by the Illinois Condominium Act (ICA). Both the CICAA and the ICA require board members to take minutes for anything pertaining to the agenda. Discussions and topics that are addressed in open sessions are not required to be written on the record, but members can write personal notes for their own use.

HOA Board Meeting Minutes Template

Using an HOA Board Meeting Minutes template helps everyone know how to take minutes and keeps a consistent style across minute-takers. The template also helps new board members get up to speed and have some direction with taking minutes. Some associations have their own set of rules for minutes, or their own preference on how they want minutes taken. If everyone is writing the same way, there is no confusion or misinterpretations about what someone wrote. This keeps the board organized, and can prevent future arguments over what was said, or written in inconsistent minutes.

Here’s an HOA Board Meeting Minutes Template you can edit. It will start out like this:

Keep it brief and concise

Quite often, HOA board meeting minutes go on for pages and pages. Avoid this. Keep your notes short, sweet and concise! It is not necessary to recite every detail that was discussed, and really creates more work than needed. Many associations treat minutes like a transcript, but recording every single thing a speaker has said is not helpful. If you are truly in a situation where you need to do that, then actually do an audio recording. In most cases,

“providing too much detail information in the minutes is not the recommended course of action and can create unnecessary┬áliability for the association,”

according to Kaye Bender Rembaum Attorneys at Law. Essentially, minutes should be taken on the bulk of the meeting, the specific motions made, and what items were voted on.

Be objective

The individual who has the responsibility of taking HOA board meeting minutes should always be objective. Minute takers should avoid inserting personal opinions, criticism, or praise. Also, keep in mind that any transcripts or notes recorded by tape are not considered official minutes. Only the approved minutes of the meeting is the official record. Members who wish to have more detail on a particular discussion can take their own personal notes on the matter, but these notes only constitute as personal member notes; not the notes of the board.