CHANGE TO MASSACHUSETTS CONDOMINIUM ACT REQUIRES MEETING MINUTES TO BE MADE AVAILABLE TO UNIT OWNERS VIA E-MAIL

Published on: November 16, 2017

Tucked in to a recently passed supplemental budget bill was a change to Section 10(c) of the Massachusetts Condominium Act that requires minutes of condominium meetings to be made available to unit owners via e-mail, if so requested. The bill was signed by the Governor on November 3, 2017, and is effective immediately.

The relevant section of the statute is Section 10(c)(3) and now reads as follows:

The organization of unit owners shall keep a complete copy of the following items…the minute book, as maintained by the organization of unit owners, to the extent such minutes are kept, which shall be made available to unit owners through electronic mail upon request.”

The change to the law is the addition of all words after “kept”; as such, there is now a requirement that meeting minutes be made available to unit owners through electronic mail upon request.

The Condominium Act already stated in Section 10(c) that if meeting minutes are kept, then unit owners have a right to inspect such minutes. Now, with this minor change to the law, if meeting minute are kept, property managers and boards will have to provide them via e-mail to unit owners if requested.

We would note that neither the statute, nor the recent change to the statute, requires associations to keep meeting minutes. The only requirement is that the minutes be provided by email, if such minutes are kept.  Given that the statute does not distinguish between minutes for unit owner meetings and minutes for board meetings, the requirement to provide the minutes via e-mail would pertain to both unit owner and board meetings.  However, with respect to board meeting minutes, it is extremely important that the minutes are reviewed carefully before providing them to unit owners.  Board meeting minutes may contain personal or confidential information (for example, information regarding delinquent accounts); such information must be redacted before it is provided to unit owners.  In addition, minutes of board executive sessions should not be provided to unit owners.

We do not foresee this as a major burden to associations given that most meeting minutes are likely already typed and saved electronically; therefore, if a unit owner requests minutes via email, the property manager or board simply needs to attach the typed minutes.

If you have any questions regarding this change to the law and how it may impact your association please do not hesitate to contact Matt Gaines at mgaines@meeb.com.