HABITAT

BOARD OPERATIONS

Is Brevity the Soul of (Smart) Board Meeting Minutes?

Mark Levine in Board Operations on September 14, 2018

New York City

Mini Minutes
Sept. 14, 2018

It’s kind of ironic that in this age of transparency, board meeting minutes should be bare-boned. But they should. So keep them accurate, but sparse. Here’s why.

Minutes of board meetings can be surprisingly revealing. Some minutes cover who voted on what, as well as off-topic conversations. You must always remember that minutes are actually a legal document that can be used for exploratory purposes in lawsuits and discovery. They’re also read by potential apartment purchasers.

In the buildings we manage, we always recommend that meeting minutes be bare-boned, and by bare-boned I mean they should include who was present at the time the meeting started and ended, any motions that were made, and voting results. Period. Anything else is considered fluff – potentially damaging fluff – and it shouldn’t be in there.

Fluff leaves the board open to possible legal action down the road. So you want to protect yourself. It’s one thing to have transparency, but it’s quite another to record what went on in a legal manner. As for minutes, less information is better. They should be reserved simply for motions that were made, seconded, and approved, or even motions that were made and not approved, so that we can know what is moving forward in the building and what isn’t. Anything else, you’re leaving yourself open to liability.

Mark Levine is a principal at the property management company EBMG.

Ask the Experts

learn more

Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments

Professionals in some of the key fields of co-op and condo board governance and building management answer common questions in their areas of expertise

Source Guide

see the guide

Looking for a vendor?