What Can a Homeowner Do About Inaccurate BOD Minutes in An HOA?

 

This is a question a reader sent recently.

What can a homeowner do about inaccurate BOD minutes?

I believe she was referring to board meeting minutes but perhaps it was a membership meeting. There are differences.

For a board meeting homeowners who are not directors do not have any authority to propose changes to board minutes. However, it is okay to suggest corrections by email or in a letter or even at the meeting during the homeowner forum time. An owner can ask for minutes after a meeting and they have to be made available within 30 days, marked draft if not finally approved by the Board. Timing does not always work to send in comments before a meeting.

It is not generally appropriate or allowed or legally authorized to suggest changes to board minutes during the portion of the business meeting – because the board needs to get business done, and owner interruptions do not need to be allowed or tolerated.

In this case the person said that they brought what they believed to be an error in the minutes to the attention of the association manager, and the manager sent a response back that the owners comments on the minutes were forwarded to the board for review. This was the appropriate action on the part of the manager. The person who wrote me said that  no corrections were made.

If the Board approved the minutes as is, it means the directors, or at least a majority, believed they were accurate as stated. Since they are the officials in the association who are in charge of meetings processes, drafting minutes and approving minutes, they are the final authority and there is nothing left to do but argue, and I definitely do not recommend that. If the board members believe the minutes are accurate, those minutes become the official minutes that go on record.

A membership meeting is different. If the draft minutes are sent out to members after an annual meeting and an owner wants to propose a change, they should be allowed an opportunity to do that. An owner could send a note to the board suggesting a change. Generally the practical process is that the members who attend the annual meeting will get some say in whether any changes are made. However, since the 2006 elections rules in California were passed, fewer people attend annual meetings, and ballot packages can be counted toward the quorum. But envelopes can’t vote, so boards tend to either send out the minutes for approval in the mail, or have them approved by a committee sometime during the year. California law generally complicates the option of any meaningful discussions on proposed changes to minutes for annual meetings.

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