Q. Previous to the current management company, the board would review the minutes after each meeting and then distribute them to all of the owners. The new management company now states that the minutes cannot be distributed until they have been approved at the next meeting which is 3 months apart. This leaves the building with no information about the meetings until 3 months after they have occurred. I cannot find anything in Florida statute that legally says that minutes can only be approved at the next meeting before distribution but our management company contends that this is correct. Could you provide any guidance on this issue? It is leading to a large information gap within the building that I think should be addressed. What recourse do we have to rectify this situation?
—Concerned in Coral Gables
A. “The state agency which regulates condominiums in Florida has ruled that unapproved minutes are official records subject to inspection,” says Kenneth Direktor, a shareholder attorney with the Fort Lauderdale-based law firm of Becker & Poliakoff. “As such, even though the board does not approve the minutes until the next board meeting, the unit owners may request them before they are approved under Section 718.111(12) for condominiums and I believe the same analysis would apply to a request in an HOA under Section 720.303(5). If the members do not want to wait for minutes to be approved and distributed, there are alternatives. If the concern is a lack of information between board meetings or a three month lag in the dissemination of information, the unapproved minutes are available for inspection upon written request. Also, unit owners also have the right to attend board meetings and those in attendance have the right to make audio or video recordings, which could also be disseminated.”