One of the changes to the Florida condominium laws from this year’s legislative session that are set to take effect on July 1 is the mandate that the minutes of all condominium association board meetings must now be kept permanently as opposed to seven years, as the law previously held. This new requirement should not present any difficulties for the state’s condo associations, as recording the meeting minutes and keeping them available for inspection as state law requires are basic functions of association administration.
The minutes of association board meetings must reflect all of the votes or abstentions of the directors in attendance. They are extremely useful association records for those who wish to gain an understanding for all of their association’s undertakings and decisions over a period of time.
Associations should record their meeting minutes in a well organized and uniform format, and the information should be very brief and to the point. The minutes should reflect the format and topics from the meeting agenda, and many associations break them down into standard sections for attendees, reports, old business, new business and others.
Meeting minutes should avoid lengthy explanations and detailed descriptions based on board member discussions that take place prior to votes. A simple note indicating that a matter was discussed by the board members prior to a vote is sufficient to inform readers that a discussion took place. Furthermore, the record should reflect motions made, by whom, whether or not the motions were seconded, and the outcomes.
Directors will often disagree over association business, but they should avoid politicizing the meeting minutes by using them to provide a high level of detail about their opposing viewpoints. The minutes should not be slanted to favor one option over the other; they should only be used to document what was discussed and decided in a succinct manner.
By adopting a uniform format for the board meeting minutes and including only a brief documentation of the issues discussed and decisions made, the meeting minutes will become effective association records that are simple to record and maintain for future review.