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Subject: Charging for copies of meeting minutes?
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Jeff
(North Carolina)

Posts:3


01/30/2006 10:28 AM  
Hello everyone, thanks for looking!

At our townhome community here in NC our Board just passed a new "law" that anyone wanting a copy of the current monthly Board meeting minutes there will be a charge of $25.00. Up until now the only way that you could see the minutes from the meeting (if you weren't able to attend the Board meeting) is to go to the Property Management company (by appointment) and read a copy of the minutes there onsite. We aren't normally informed as to what the Board talks about or what they do or don't do at these meetings. God forbid if you happen to lose your copy of the covenents and by-laws notebook, that will set you back a cool $100.00 to replace! I didn't realize around 40 sheets of printer paper and a vinyl binder cost so much! Anyway, does this seem normal to you guys? Are we supposed to be that removed from HOA Board business that we don't have free and easy access to the very business that concerns our own homes and community? Please, what do you guys think? Any advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

MacStuf
BrianB
(California)

Posts:2820


01/30/2006 1:41 PM  
it seems out of line for copying, even at 25 cents per page. However, there is probably no law being broken.

I would suggest you scan into pdf format your by laws immediately... that way, you have a permanent copy of htem you can share.
BarbaraK
(Florida)

Posts:33


01/30/2006 3:37 PM  
Jeff: First thing you have to do is check your documents. You can also check your State's Statutes. Here in Florida homeowners have the right to either get a copy of the minutes (free) or have them posted where everyone can read them. Homeowners should have access to every document, vendor's contracts, insurance policies and every other piece of information that affects them. They can look at them free but if they want them copied there is a nominal charge. That does not apply to minutes, which should be provided to homeowners within a week after Board Meetings.
ReneeD
(Illinois)

Posts:201


01/30/2006 4:47 PM  
Someone is making a sweet profit. I was charged $12.50 for 5 months' worth of financials. MC for the association charges $2.50 for either financials or meeting minutes; $5.00 for our Decs/Bylaws--which is about 50+ or so pages; however, our Rules & Regs Manual (about 30 pages) costs $25. Go figure.

ReneeD
JaimeW
(North Carolina)

Posts:24


01/30/2006 5:46 PM  
Jeff: The amount you are being charged is extremely high for Board meeting minutes especially since most of them aren't that many pages anyway. With the Associations we manage in North Carolina the Board of Directors have instructed us to give the homeowners copies of minutes and financials that they request since they are entitled to the information. Some of the Townhome Associations we manage automatically have us mail out the meeting minutes to make sure each homeowner is aware of what is going on with the Association.
Jeff
(North Carolina)

Posts:3


01/30/2006 6:09 PM  
Thanks everybody so far for the responses,

JaimeW,

Yes, the charges are extreme! My own thought is that this particular board is trying to discourage any distribution of the business they decide on. Keeping the homeowners in the dark while their personal agendas were taken care of has been a hallmark of this board. I never thought that we as homeowners should be required to go to the Property Manager office (by appointment) to have access to the minutes of the boards meetings. Nor do we ever get to know what business is coming up for vote. Heck, we don't even get a chance to vote our wishes on any community issues! Does this sound normal? I'm afraid that we in our community are being railroaded when it comes to the "give and take" of important business that pertains to the neighborhood as a whole. Like I said, there is a underlying reason that the board decided on these extreme charges, and I don't think the cost of paper and toner was the driving need.

Jeff
HankL


Posts:0


01/31/2006 5:45 AM  
Having Board minutes is mandatory for the Association and the members who pay assessments should have the right to be provided with hardcopy, mailed, at no cost. Otherwise it looks like there is something to hide, including outright incompetence, as was the case in my community. Owners should only pay assessments or the costs of their individual rule-breaking.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


01/31/2006 10:07 AM  
Jeff, I can understand why you are upset. Who has time to go to the management companies office during working hours? And who wants to pay an outrageous price?

This is determined by your Board. If an association is incorporated they must have a designated Agent. That Agent is responsible to maintain and make available the records to all members. When the Board signs an Agreement with the management company the managing Agent is defined and access and cost for association records should be defined in the Agreement.

Cost and access to obtain or review records can vary greatly. Some HOA boards ask us to email, to all members who authorize email notifications, the monthly financial reports and the minutes of all meeting. We do this at no cost when it can be done from our digital files. If an owner wants copies of paper documents we charge for the cost of our time to pull, copy, refile, and mail. And if they want to come to our office and review paper files, we supervise them at all times and charge them for the time. As good stewarts of the data we never allow owners to review files without being present (you can't believe what would disappear).

To reduce costs, documents such as the Declaration, Articles, Bylaws, Rules, etc., we scan and convert these to digital format using good OCR software. These can then be efficiently emailed, upon request, as PDF files.

RogerB
Jeff
(North Carolina)

Posts:3


01/31/2006 11:02 AM  
Thanks Roger for your reply,

You have some good suggestions there. I still feel however, that your monthly dues should cover whatever method you may choose (email,hard copy) so that the individual homeowner can receive at their home a simple copy of the monthly board meeting minutes. To some of the residents in our community this would be the only way that they would know whats being done or not done in their neighborhood. So many can't attend the board meetings because of time constraints or other commitments. Roger, as far as I can tell this was an issue just brought up at the last board meeting and voted on by the board. If it was an arrangement during the contract phase of hiring our management company then I'm not aware of it. Anyway, it's all just very frustrating to a good number of my fellow homeowners that we feel "in the dark" when it comes to information and communication efforts here at our community. I will close with my last comment on this issue. When the board votes in extreme fees for standard information that homeowners are entitled to then I can only see it as a blantant attempt to discourage any participation in the month to month affairs of the association.
JimR
(Colorado)

Posts:21


01/31/2006 7:45 PM  
Jeff, I understand your frustration, and I would assume that the cost figure for your copies was dictated by your MC...In Colo under SB100 I believe that the Board or the MC is only allowed to charge the actual cost of the copies. 9 cents a page at Kinkos, and I still an unsure about the time involment by someone having to go get these copies made.

what we have done is started a Web site for the HOA and all legal documents are posted, rules and regs, resolutions, monthly minutes, and annual minutes along with the financial pages. Very resonable program for getting the information out to those that are computer savy. The others should be able to get a copy of the minutes from their Secretary for the cost of copies, postage. The problem is that the Secretaries are not willing to do this type of work once the association is turned over to a MC and they can set what ever pricing. Our lastest MC charged 40 cents a page copy plus an administration cost.

Wake up America and do some of your own work and control your own destiny.
PrintO
(Alaska)

Posts:1


09/04/2019 5:07 AM  
I appreciate with your words some times I also faced the same problem at that time I decide to change the Hp ink cartridges of my printer and after that, it's working fine... so I also want to suggest here to buy an ink cartridge at Pan Continent Inc.
BobB31
(Florida)

Posts:124


09/04/2019 7:04 AM  
Posted By PrintO on 09/04/2019 5:07 AM
I appreciate with your words some times I also faced the same problem at that time I decide to change the Hp ink cartridges of my printer and after that, it's working fine... so I also want to suggest here to buy an ink cartridge at Pan Continent Inc.



Reported
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2665


09/04/2019 2:51 PM  
Paper and printing is expensive these days, more so if the stuff is mailed (you do remember postage went up last year - or was it this year?) That said, $25 for board meeting minutes is excessive - why don't you suggest the board set up a website and post the minutes there? If people want a copy, they can simply download it.

As for the governing documents, ours cost about $50 some years ago, but it may have gone up. I put my copy in a secure location so I don't lose it - you might want to get a small safe and do the same (you can put all of your important papers in there)

And if you don't know what the board is discussing at its meetings, what's wrong with attending a few? If this board can't or won't be candid regarding its activities, you and your neighbors need to consider voting them out and putting in people who will do what you want. Boards can only get away with this behavior if the homeowners don't give a rat's ass and let them.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2665


09/04/2019 2:52 PM  
Whoopsies, this is an old post. should have checked the date
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