Q&A: Information, Please?

Q Previous to the current management company, the board would review the minutes after each meeting and then distribute to all owners. The new management company 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 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? It is leading to a large information gap within the building.

—Give Me a Minute

A “The state agency which regulates condominiums in Florida has ruled that unapproved minutes are official records subject to inspection,” says attorney Kenneth Direktor of West Palm Beach-based law firm 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.”