Condominium Meeting Minute Guidelines

This article will discuss policies and protocol for taking and retaining board meeting minutes. It will explain what must be included, what can be included, and what should not be included in minutes. Included should be information on who has access to full minutes, where and for how long records should be stored, etc.

Questions to answer:

Who should be taking minutes at Board meetings? Does it always work out that way, or does someone else (like the manager) end up doing it? Why is it the responsibility of the named person – what’s the reasoning?

The Condominium Documents are often unclear on who is the person responsible for taking minutes at a Board meeting. Obviously, in a condominium where the Trustees hold positions such as President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, it would be the Secretary’s responsibility to take the meeting minutes. Often, however, Condominium Boards, especially in smaller condominium communities, do not require that the Trustees hold certain elected positions and the Trustees tend to take on responsibilities based on their own personal strengths. For example, a Trustee who is an accountant may volunteer to keep the financial records of the Condominium, and a very organized Trustee may volunteer to take the meeting minutes. If the property manager attends the board meeting, they may end up taking the meeting minutes.

What should be included in minutes? Actions? Discussions? Comments? Direct quotes?

Massachusetts General Laws do not have a requirement that meeting minutes must be kept, and many Condominiums do not have a requirement for keeping meeting minutes. Whether to keep detailed meeting minutes is a complicated decision that should be weighed by the Condominium Trust. On one hand, keeping detailed meeting minutes provides the Trust a record of what agenda items were discussed and how each board member voted on a particular issue. Meeting minutes allow new board members to get up to speed on pending and past issues and ensure both board members and unit owners have access to the same information which promotes an open and ongoing dialogue and could encourage more people to become involved in the condominium management. On the other hand, all meeting minutes automatically become part of the condominium books and records, which must be made available to unit owners upon request. These meeting minutes could open the Condominium up for litigation against it by a unit owner who is not in agreement with the majority of the board. For example, if a condominium had many unit owners raise an issue of slippery stairs due to insufficient snow removal or slippery conditions in the lobby on a rainy day, and those complaints were logged in the minutes, that could open the condominium up for liability in a future slip and fall lawsuit because it would be evidence showing the condominium had prior notice of unsafe conditions. [Read more…]