While a lot of the day-to-day business of running a condo building or HOA happens in the management office or on-site at the level of maintenance and staff management, meetings—board-only and resident alike—are the forum where important information is shared, policy formed, individual voices heard, and big decisions made.
For that and other reasons, it's crucial to keep thorough, accurate meeting minutes as a record of what goes on in your building or association's meetings.
Taking down meeting minutes is not only almost universally required by condo, co-op and HOA bylaws, it is also required by state law. According to Gregory M. Dyer, Esq., a Newark-based attorney specializing in community association law, “The New Jersey Condo Act and the Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act (PREDFDA) require that minutes of board meetings must be kept, and must be available for inspection by unit owners.”
Shareholders and unit owners “are entitled only to access in order to inspect the minutes of the meetings; physical copies are not a requirement,” adds attorney Scott B. Piekarsky, a managing member of the Wyckoff-based law firm Piekarsky & Associates, LLC. “Allowing access to the minutes of the meetings keeps the board’s actions out in the open and transparent,” he says.
According to David Ferullo, CPA, a senior audit partner with The Curchin Group, an accounting firm in Red Bank, residents should have access to the minutes of regular or annual resident meetings but they generally aren't allowed to see the minutes of board meetings. And regardless, “The property manager is not the one who should be divulging information to a unit owner,” Ferullo says. “The board should direct the management company to disseminate that information, if they want it done. They can even put it in the newsletter.” For some boards, divulging information such as meeting minutes is a regular task, done monthly. Others send out such records less frequently, such as biannually.