Home Buying in Seattle>Question Details

Keith Gormez…, Home Buyer in Seattle, WA

How accurate & detailed do the minutes of a condominium annual or monthly board board of directors have to be?

Asked by Keith Gormezano, Quickbooks And Quicken Trainer, Seattle, WA Tue Feb 17, 2009

This also applys to homeowners associations.

Can you omit matters brought up and discussed? If someone for example raised a complaint or a concern about another homeowner (say, a noise complaint), can the minutes not mention that matter being brought to the board's attention. Or must it be mentioned. Should you mention names? I was thinking that if I wanted to buy into a building, I would want to know if someone has been a problem tenant.

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I think that different Boards and management companies choose to include different items in their minutes. I used to serve on the Board of an HOA for a few years, and the management company did not include those types of general homeowner comments in the minutes. While all minutes should include anything the Board votes and takes action on, I've rarely seen the types of comments you're talking about included in the minutes, unless the Board chose to take some sort of formal action based on the information presented. In addition, my experience has been that most noise (or other types of) complaints are more often done in writing to the Board outside of a meeting and handled privately unless the management company has a problem getting a homeowner to comply with a rule, in which case it could spill over into a formal action or hearing, which should show up in the minutes.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 17, 2009

Good question and I completely understand the concern. My homebuyers as well are always concerned about the accuracy of information in the HOA minutes. I will say though that I have found minutes to be very open and honest. When meetings are taking place, residents are rarely thinking about what a potential buyer will think about the minutes. I have found some very funny comments mentioning a complaining neighbor by name and making comments about how they always complain and that the plan is to continue to ignore them.

One more thought. Most HOA associations are very particular about getting as much detail about potential concerns into the minutes accurately. The effect of a law suit that could emerge if it was determined that a concern was discussed publicly and stricken from the record, would be devastating. Instead I find, they typically go too far in describing the concern and the solution that the board has come up with.

Happy hunting.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
Hi Mark,
I understand what you're saying. I think it's important to emphasize how differently associations handle these types of things. Even a rules infraction likely wouldn't show up on a typical meeting minutes in most cases I've seen, unless the offender failed to immediately correct the situation. I certainly agree that I too have seen numerous minutes with those types of remarks, but I'm also aware of many situations that occurred in my HOA, and in other transactions I had in which there was some issue, but it was never discussed at a Board meeting or put into the minutes. As previously discussed, it can really vary depending on the HOA. Thanks for the clarification.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 17, 2009
Sorry, Ken. Perhaps in being brief I wasn't perfectly clear. My disagreement with your comments should have refered to meeting minutes I've seen where the board has not yet taken, or necessarily intends to take, formal action but the complaint was brought to their attention whether or not it was an actual rule violation. In other words, I have seen complaints from one or more residents about another resident in meeting minutes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 17, 2009
You obviously didn't read the original question or my answer very well. The original question regarded complaints from one homeowner about another, not "rules violations". My response noted that rules violations DO show up in the minutes. There's a big difference.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 17, 2009
There is no law that I no of that governs what must be included in meeting minutes. The level of detail and accuracy will vary from one association to the next. That said, I disagree with Ken because I have seen comments in Minutes that relate the "resident of unit #" commiting rule vioations of one sort or another. But unless there are specific association rules that govern what is put into the minutes, these types of complaints are not necessarily going to be included.
Web Reference: http://www.homehounds.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 17, 2009
I don't know if you can completely depend on the minutes for this information. You might ask
this question of a member of the board or the management company for this building; whether
or not they include this information. Another suggestion would be to ask other people in the
building if they attend the meetings and if this has brought up.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 17, 2009
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