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Board Minutes Must Be Available

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Question: Civil Code Section 1363.05 states that board meeting minutes are supposed to be available to the owners within 30 days of the meeting.

Some associations do not distribute minutes at all or they wait until the board meeting minutes are accepted at a subsequent meeting before making them available. Please comment on the association’s obligation to comply with the law. Does the law require that they be distributed?

Answer: The board has a duty to comply with the Civil Code and other laws pertaining to community associations. The law states that “the minutes, minutes proposed for adoption that are marked to indicate draft status or a summary of the minutes, of any meeting of the board of directors of any association other than an executive session, shall be available within 30 days of the meeting.

“The minutes, proposed minutes or summary minutes shall be distributed to any member of the association upon request and upon reimbursement of the association’s cost in making that distribution.”

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In other words, the board is supposed to have some form of the minutes ready for distribution within 30 days of a meeting. The law does not say that the minutes have to be distributed to every owner. Accessibility or distribution must be provided to those owners who request the minutes.

The association has a right to collect payment for copying, postage and other related costs before the minutes are sent out.

Each year, the association is supposed to distribute an explanation of where and how an owner can obtain copies of minutes.

The association board should establish a policy on distribution of the minutes. Many owners do not care about reviewing the minutes. Therefore, associations could be wasting labor, paper and postage to send them to everyone.

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Clause Prohibiting Children Is Outdated Q: I am president of our association. I recently received a noise complaint that cited a 2-year-old child as the source of the noise. The complaint also cited a clause in our declaration of covenants, conditions and restrictions that prohibits children under the age of 18 from being residents.

Can our covenants, written in 1980, discriminate against children?

A: Your covenants are outdated and probably unenforceable because there are federal fair housing laws that supersede them. These federal laws prohibit age discrimination.

If your association is senior housing with special senior amenities or services, then children can be restricted. The federal laws are very specific, so consult a community association attorney regarding your particular situation. The penalties for age discrimination can be high.

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Hickenbottom is a community association management consultant and a founding director of the California Assn. of Community Managers. She selects questions of general interest for the column and regrets that she cannot respond to all questions received. Send questions to: Condo Q&A;, Box 5068, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360.


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