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Subject: Board Member Privacy & E-mails
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Author Messages
LindaK5
(California)

Posts:242


02/21/2017 12:21 PM  
I've done my due diligence on researching this topic, but also wanted feedback.

I understand there is a privacy issue with providing contact information (phone numbers, e-mails) and that Davis-Stirling recommends NOT providing e-mail addresses. I also read somewhere along the way that not providing phone numbers is recommended as well, but that wouldn't work in our community, as we publish Board members phone numbers in case of on-site emergencies, etc. Homeowners are instructed to only call Board members in case of extreme emergency (fire, gas leak, flood, etc.). Any building maintenance or landscape request is required to go through filling out a form, etc. We also have "secondary" phone numbers for members and tenant information, but that is only available to the Board members. Tenant information is only for emergencies as well, as we go through homeowners (landlords).

Our Association does not have a website, nor a specific Association e-mail address. Since my time as Secretary (10 years), I've been using my e-mail address to send out general announcements, notices, maintenance and landscape notices, etc.

Our problem homeowner is demanding e-mail addresses for Board members.

My concern, because of this homeowner is so volatile and very vindictive, they are going to contact Board members and spew who knows what on them and get folks riled up. Right now, every e-mail we receive from this person gets a standard reply of "Your e-mail has been received and submitted to the Board." This gives the homeowner no attention to the negative behavior yet brings the issue to the Board's attention.

What is everyone out there doing regarding providing this information to homeowners? Do you offer a blanket phone and e-mail list to homeowners annually? Just phone numbers?

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15081


02/21/2017 3:47 PM  
We maintain a website and have email address for board members that are published.
We do not publish private email addresses.
We also do not publish phone numbers of Board members without their permission.


You could create an Association email address using one of the many free hosting services out there.
It may be possible to have all email then forwarded to each board member.
This way everyone gets the same email that is sent to the box.

The concern is, when using such a system, is for any board member who responds to the email to utilize the reply to setting of their email to have the Association email box. Otherwise, they run the risk of accidentally releasing their private email.



Now, with all of that said, I would not utilize private email for Association business.
This is because if such records were requested by the court, they could take your personal email as well (to verify that there isn't Association business within there).
LindaK5
(California)

Posts:242


02/21/2017 4:05 PM  
Thanks for the feedback, Tim. No worries on taking my personal e-mail, there is nothing exciting in there at all!

I will look into web hosting for e-mail addresses for Board members.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4632


02/21/2017 5:21 PM  
There's no requirement to give directors' or any email addresses to any one including other homeowners.

Without a MC, it makes sense that h'owners have your email address and, I'm sure, all directors have each others'. Who is the registered agent of your HOA? This is something, in CA, you must (I think!) include in the annual letter you send out with the budget.

In my HOA even though I'm a director, I cannot get an Owner's email address or phone number without their permission. I ask our PM to contact them to see if it's OK, and the answer--maybe 3 requests in 10 years -- always has been yes.

To give the volatile owner ANY other directors' or h'ownrs email address, imo, doesn't comply with CA Civil Codes and could definitely cause the invasion privacy of others directors. Read again the Inspect Records at Davis-Stirling.com.

I'm not going to argue with Richard again on this point and will only say: let the nasty owner take you to court if they think you're violating the law by not revealing those others' email addresses.

Tim's ideas sound good.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3744


02/21/2017 6:14 PM  
According to Davis-Stirling in CA you do not need to provide telephone numbers or email addresses.

http://www.davis-stirling.com/MainIndex/MembershipLists/tabid/588/Default.aspx

In my HOA's we have asked members what they want to provide and make public to other members. For the Board we needed the mailing address and email address to send meeting notices (we did both). Some did not provide email, but that was their choice to wait for snail mail.

Potentially all you need to do is abide by your State Statutes
LindaK5
(California)

Posts:242


02/21/2017 6:18 PM  
Thanks, all.

We have a form (one of many) that homeowners sign to approve using their e-mail address. We do much of our communication (notices, announcements, etc.) via e-mail.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4632


02/21/2017 6:35 PM  
The consent form that owners (including directors) must sign to receive communication from the HOA does NOT give anyone the right to give Owners' email addresses to other owners.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1761


02/21/2017 6:57 PM  
This sounds very similar to the situation in Florida. We have a written consent form that's used to authorize the HOA to provide different things to the owners. We have checkboxes for the owner to indicate what we may use the email address for.

_ Notices via electronic transmission in accordance with FS 720.303(4)(g)
_ Minutes
_ Newsletters
_ Permission to publish the address

Renters and other non-owner tenants are allowed to sign up for everything but notices.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2202


02/21/2017 7:36 PM  
I believe that IF an association or its management collects email addresses and phone numbers that may be included in the inspection of records. Many associations and management companies, including myself, regularly send out Homeowner Information sheets which asks for email address and phone numbers among other items.

IF I was running for a Board position, and if I knew someone was collecting that type of information that homeowners had opt-in into, it might be reasonable for me to ask for that information knowing that email is the new way to communicate and less expensive than snail mail. As long as I had a legitimate reason and guaranteed I would abuse that courtesy, I feel it might be within my rights.

I would use the following published case law to support that argument as it applies to corporations, which nI believe most HOA's are.

WORLDMARK, THE CLUB v. WYNDHAM RESORT DEVELOPMENT CORP.
(2010) 187 Cal.App.4th 1017
LindaK5
(California)

Posts:242


02/21/2017 8:45 PM  
Hi Richard - thanks. I saw that one .... but no case law for this. Davis-Stirling suggests NOT to provide e-mails for Director privacy, which I'm in total agreement with.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2202


02/21/2017 9:48 PM  
Posted By LindaK5 on 02/21/2017 8:45 PM
Hi Richard - thanks. I saw that one .... but no case law for this. Davis-Stirling suggests NOT to provide e-mails for Director privacy, which I'm in total agreement with.



Linda

I think you need to realize that the Davis-Stirling Act and the Davis-Stirling.com website are two different things. The case I posted is published, therefore it can be cited for case law purposes.

FYI, within the next three months, I will be challenging that with my former association.
LindaK5
(California)

Posts:242


02/21/2017 10:28 PM  
Yes, I realize that.

Can I ask what you will be challenging?
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2202


02/21/2017 11:04 PM  
Posted By LindaK5 on 02/21/2017 10:28 PM
Yes, I realize that.

Can I ask what you will be challenging?



Unfortunately, I can't as it involves the firm mentioned above.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4632


02/21/2017 11:22 PM  
I've seen that case too, about a timeshare, Linda, and Richard & I have debated it. My position and that of our Board, PM, MC and HOA attorney is like yours. Owners' email addresses may not be shared with other owners unless the one whose email addy someone wants to possess agrees to give it to them.

To let a nasty, threatening h'owner have the a email addy of other owners (directors) is a terrible idea.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3744


02/22/2017 1:40 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 02/21/2017 11:22 PM
I've seen that case too, about a timeshare, Linda, and Richard & I have debated it. My position and that of our Board, PM, MC and HOA attorney is like yours. Owners' email addresses may not be shared with other owners unless the one whose email addy someone wants to possess agrees to give it to them.

To let a nasty, threatening h'owner have the a email addy of other owners (directors) is a terrible idea.


LOL agree with you Kerry ... Not unless Owner release and agree in CA

DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:924


02/22/2017 7:16 AM  
Posted By TimB4 on 02/21/2017 3:47 PM
We maintain a website and have email address for board members that are published.
We do not publish private email addresses.


I agree with Tim, it's best to have HOA email address for the board. In addition to not giving out personal email addresses, it aids continuity when board members change. It is fairly inexpensive to register a domain name and get email hosting for the domain. That allows you to create addresses such as [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] When roles change, the new person just takes over the account.

If you don't want to spend anything at all, you can get free accounts from lots of places, gmail is an example. You might end up with longer addresses, but [email protected] is still better than using personal email accounts.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7113


02/22/2017 7:32 AM  
We have an Email address like [email protected] The president has access to it and forwards a copy of each Email to all BOD Members and to our MC if needed.

We had issues early on with various BOD Members responding and in some cases with incorrect/improper information so we made a rule that no one except the President responds. The President can direct the issue/response to another person (a BOD Member or the MC) for a response but unless so done, others are not to reply.

We had a few people Emailing/calling our MC directly but we put a policy in place that the MC would respond with only that they have forwarded the Email to the BOD for their action and if a phone call, they tell the caller to send an Email to the BOD. Few if any now try to contact the MC directly.
ND
(Florida)

Posts:183


02/22/2017 8:25 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 02/22/2017 7:32 AM
We have an Email address like [email protected]
. . .
We had a few people Emailing/calling our MC directly but we put a policy in place that the MC would respond with only that they have forwarded the Email to the BOD for their action and if a phone call, they tell the caller to send an Email to the BOD. Few if any now try to contact the MC directly.



We also have an HOA email address that is monitored by a single Board Member who will distribute emails to the rest of the Board and Management.

However, a big difference is that we encourage people to contact the MC primarily and as a first course of action. I suppose much depends on your contract with the MC, but in ours, we're paying the Management Company to actually Manage the Association. They deal with questions, emails, phone calls, violation reporting, complaints, requests for info, and anything else that might come up. Whatever they can handle on their own within the realm of their contract is handled by them. Whatever needs to be brought to the Board's attention for discussion or decision is sent to the Board.

The MC is paid to do these things. The Board typically is not.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2202


02/22/2017 8:38 AM  
For those that don't know it, many HOA websites will have a homeowner directory which will list an owner's name address, phone # and email address. The owner has the option to set what view/information other owners may see. Remember, what is the common denominator when access information on the internet, a email address. What's the difference between receiving unsolicited snail mail and unsolicited email? The cost. While a member of my association, I collected over 200 email addresses from the website that was available to its owners.

I will be asking my former association for an updated membership list, which will be to include email addresses on behalf of one of the Board member, who has been denied all access to information while serving on the Board. I found out last week that I will be getting sued by my former association over a personal vendetta that has nothing to do with the association. They already have a $20M lawsuit against them, which is hindering home sales and now they will be taking on an additional $7M countersuit.

The case law I referenced was for a Timeshare, which like HOA's are corporations and have governance through Corporation Code, which is where the right to a Membership List originally derived from. While I wouldn't readily want to hand over email addresses, if I knew that the association maintained such a list, I feel i I have the right to ask for a list that included such information.

The best way for an association to have Board email addresses is to obtain a domain and have an email address system set up. The problem who maintain the system and keeps the domain fees current. When I take on a association, if they do not have a system, I will set up email address through my domain which would get forwarded to their email address of choice.



LindaK5
(California)

Posts:242


02/22/2017 11:58 AM  
Richard - yes, the problem is who will maintain all of this stuff? And, if you have someone maintain it now, but about in perpetuity?

I'm interested in knowing how this works. If you have a domain and have e-mail addresses such as [email protected], [email protected], can you set this up so that all income e-mails go to all Board members? My concern is we currently have a president that does not want to do this, no, in my opinion should this person be doing it. They are President only because no one else wants to take on the responsibility. He thinks most issues can be handled one on one talking to homeowners and soothing them. I'm even talking about major violations. Thinks we're being too hard on people charging late fees for late dues payments. You get my drift.

I'm thinking of [email protected], as well as [email protected] and [email protected] ...... but again, I would like it set up that when an e-mail comes in, it can be accessed by all Board members. If not, I guess it can always be forwarded, right?
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2202


02/22/2017 12:33 PM  
Posted By LindaK5 on 02/22/2017 11:58 AM
Richard - yes, the problem is who will maintain all of this stuff? And, if you have someone maintain it now, but about in perpetuity?

I'm interested in knowing how this works. If you have a domain and have e-mail addresses such as [email protected], [email protected], can you set this up so that all income e-mails go to all Board members? My concern is we currently have a president that does not want to do this, no, in my opinion should this person be doing it. They are President only because no one else wants to take on the responsibility. He thinks most issues can be handled one on one talking to homeowners and soothing them. I'm even talking about major violations. Thinks we're being too hard on people charging late fees for late dues payments. You get my drift.

I'm thinking of [email protected], as well as [email protected] and [email protected] ...... but again, I would like it set up that when an e-mail comes in, it can be accessed by all Board members. If not, I guess it can always be forwarded, right?



You can setup [email protected] as a forwarding account, going to specific emails such as [email protected] and so on.

If you don't have one now, get a management company. A good one will help your association tremendously.
LindaK5
(California)

Posts:242


02/22/2017 12:39 PM  
I've been pushing for property management for years, but I am but 1 vote on the Board. We have a new Board now, so maybe some changes. One can hope.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:924


02/22/2017 1:48 PM  
Posted By LindaK5 on 02/22/2017 11:58 AM

I'm thinking of [email protected], as well as [email protected] and [email protected] ...... but again, I would like it set up that when an e-mail comes in, it can be accessed by all Board members. If not, I guess it can always be forwarded, right?


You might be getting too granular with the Landscape and BuildingMaint accounts. We do the same thing Richard suggested, we have a [email protected] that is automatically forwarded to all board members, that's the address that we ask everybody to use, except for ARC requests which go to [email protected] We also have officer accounts. This way the treasurer, for example, can correspond individually about dues and such.

As I mentioned upthread, this is really helps with continuity when new directors or officers are elected.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:924


02/22/2017 1:48 PM  
Posted By LindaK5 on 02/22/2017 11:58 AM

I'm thinking of [email protected], as well as [email protected] and [email protected] ...... but again, I would like it set up that when an e-mail comes in, it can be accessed by all Board members. If not, I guess it can always be forwarded, right?


You might be getting too granular with the Landscape and BuildingMaint accounts. We do the same thing Richard suggested, we have a [email protected] that is automatically forwarded to all board members, that's the address that we ask everybody to use, except for ARC requests which go to [email protected] We also have officer accounts. This way the treasurer, for example, can correspond individually about dues and such.

As I mentioned upthread, this is really helps with continuity when new directors or officers are elected.
JerryD5
(Colorado)

Posts:188


02/22/2017 2:36 PM  
I think I shared this story on here in other threads. I joined our board 8 years ago and at the time we used our own personal email to conduct business. We did not publicize them and any homeowner had to go through the MC to ask a question or raise an issue. That worked well until a disgruntled committee member (whose husband served on the board with us) got mad when we disapproved a structure on their property. She took all of our personal email addresses and private phone numbers and sent out a mass media release. I got emails and phone calls from several media outlets asking for comments. Since then, we used generic Gmail accounts to conduct business (without names associated. For example my emails is [email protected] Then we have board.member1XXXXHOA @gmail.com, etc.

Fast forward to present day and we have had the generic email addresses for 3 years now. Homeowners still have to go through our new MC to ask a question or raise a question. In Dec, one homeowner was upset that the MC was not handling snow removal promptly. She berated the PM through emails and then took to social media. The PM was so upset that she gave the homeowner the board's email addresses. Now, I get emails from this homeowner every time the snow removal company is not out there to clear her sidewalk. I have told her several times to go through the MC (and our new PM) and she has, so far, ignored that and continues to email me. Now she has asked for the board member's names for each generic email address so she knows who she is talking to. I refused because when new board members are elected, they will take over that email address. Same for anyone that might take my position.
BobD4
(up north)

Posts:904


02/24/2017 2:41 PM  
The above other discussions show that there may not yet be any magic answer to Compulsory Disclosurability of owners'/stakeholders' e-mail addresses.

Withholding them clearly disadvantages those with a beef wanting to drum up support. Thus it reinforces a power imbalance, but so do a lot of things. I cannot recall hearing that an owner/stakeholder's conventional mail box ever caused injury or massive dislocation simply by getting lots of unsolicited snail-mail.

Not so with e-mail. ie mischief deluges, imbedded viruses etc

Incidentally my own jurisdiction's condo law has just been amended to withhold e-mails from condo requestors, an outcome that followed a low level court judgment rendered by a retired constitutional law expert.

In contrast, for many years my own non-mandatory/no vires HOA does disclose on consent to any owner a full list of every owner's email addresses. No big deal for us. The world hasn't ended or anything so far . .
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2202


02/24/2017 3:11 PM  
The problem is that legislation is written, in many instances, where an attorney's opinion may be needed, and in most cases that attorney represents an entity that doesn't want to give out that information.

For emails list, there is case law on the books allowing a member of a corporation, which most HOA's are, to hand over emails if maintained and also requested. When Corporation Code was written emails addresses probably didn't exist. Either Davis-Stirling and/or Corporation needs to be updated to make clear whether or not email addresses should be disclosed if requested and take the decision out of an attorney's hand.

The other is whether or not Boards can email one another. Currently the statue says Board cannot conduct meetings via email except in an emergency. The statue also says a meeting" is at the same time and place, and we know email is not considered same time and place. So our state legislators should, once and for all make it clear, without an attorney questionable interpretation, is email allowed between directors. I know, from speaking with the author of the bill, what the intention was, but getting people off their butts takes time.

So, this past Wednesday, I filed my papers to run for the California State Assembly representing the district in which I live. The three issues I will focus on, job creation, cleaning language of Corporation Code and Civil Code as it pertains to HOA's and setting an Arbitration Board for homeowners residing in HOA's.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4632


02/24/2017 8:48 PM  
I hope, Richard, that you wrote HOAs, vs. HOA's. I feel very confident that no one in my HOA will go to court if they cannot have the email addy of another owner, UNLESS that Owner has somehow given permission in writing to whomever control the "list" to release it t whomever wants it.

I can't see, Richard, how your last post relates to the OP's, original question,!!
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2202


02/24/2017 9:48 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 02/24/2017 8:48 PM
I hope, Richard, that you wrote HOAs, vs. HOA's. I feel very confident that no one in my HOA will go to court if they cannot have the email addy of another owner, UNLESS that Owner has somehow given permission in writing to whomever control the "list" to release it t whomever wants it.

I can't see, Richard, how your last post relates to the OP's, original question,!!



WOW!

You are something!
BobD4
(up north)

Posts:904


02/25/2017 9:36 AM  
Posted By RichardP13 on 02/24/2017 3:11 PM
. . .When Corporation Code was written emails addresses probably didn't exist. Either Davis-Stirling and/or Corporation needs to be updated to make clear whether or not email addresses should be disclosed if requested and take the decision out of an attorney's hand. . ."



1- This is right on the button. Exposing one's e-mail brings a significant enough personal risk that a legislature should clearly platform what is - or is NOT - being disclosed about owner emails by governancers to other owners. Knowing such is disclosurable should bring an opportunity to withhold one's own.

( Looks like No magic answer : The lower court ruling by a retired constitutional law expert here, contained NO substantive rationale. The legislature just decided coincidentally to apply his decision. )

A credible case respectfully exists however to compel disclosure of e-mails to shareholders of commercial corporations other than of shared ownership ones as discussed at this Forum. And even for timeshares or fractionals, those stakeholders could be anywhere in the world. It may not be in the public interest to risk allowing an out of control dominant group to keep e-mail addresses from other commercial stakeholders - and maybe even from regulators.

2 - RichardP13 : If I weren't a foreigner I'd vote for you & those ideas. Guess foreigners never get onto California voter lists ? . ..

KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4632


02/25/2017 12:09 PM  
Based on the post about security at an HOA meeting because an owner brandished a knife at a director outside one of their homes, and the many other incidents of unstable nut-job owners, we've heard of, I would never feel comfortable giving any owner's email addy to any Owners who requests it unless the erstwhile recipient agreed. Imagine a possible barrage of nasty emails.

In my HOA 75% of owners live on our premises. I can easily slip invitations, get well cards, etc., under their doors in our high rise. I can easily US mail them other items. I could easily US mail all 200+ owners something if I wanted to overturn our board, etc.

I agree it'd be good to have this matter clarified, but I don't see it as priority in my HOA or state. an arbitration Board also would be a good thing.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2202


02/25/2017 12:51 PM  
I don't think you fully understand what you have stated.

Membership lists, including secondary addresses and email addresses IF maintained and collected by the association, either by a self managed board or a management company does so using members monies. In short, the members fund the membership list. IF, members do not want their information shared, they may opt-out, at anytime. They also receive written notice every year of their right to have their information withheld form other members. The person who request such information and is bound by strict guideline on its use. I know directors that have violated that trust.

Email is used when available and allowed as a cheaper, less costly way to communicate with its members. IF I wanted to communicate to 200+ owners in a twin high rise I wouldn't use snail mail or go door to door I would use what others use and that is email. There is no pricacy issue. You can opt out, unsubscribe or block any sender.

Then you have the issue of campaigning. Associations may publish a newsletter which may or may not be distributed by email, from a list maintained by either the association or MC.

I would be reluctant to give out email addresses unless there were protection. There are. Being there is case, I would use that as guidance until such time as it is overturned or challenged, in court.

IF a person was outside my home brandishing a knife the last thing I would be worried about is whether or not they had my email address.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4632


02/25/2017 7:24 PM  
I wrote waaay above, Richard, (please re-read), that: "The consent form that owners (including directors) must sign to receive [email] communication from the HOA does NOT give anyone the right to give Owners' email addresses to other owners."

The form also assures Owners that their email address will not be used for any other purpose. The latter, of course, is to encourage as many owners as possible to choose this method of receiving HOA communications.

So, obviously our PM sends everything by email that's permissible in CA to save our HOA money. Our annual budget materials, for example, comprise 43 pages given all of CA's requirements in that regard. The PM also sends out other emails by eblast, e.g., water shut-offs, and our monthly newsletter. (I miss your point about campaigning.)

The PM does, then, have "a list" of most Owners' email addresses. I still, however, do not agree that our PM possessing that list means that any owner who wants one, or many other, or all Owner's email addresses may have them.

You wrote, Richard, "I would be reluctant to give out email addresses unless there were protection," which I don't quite understand. What protections do you have in place at your HOA accounts?

I agree with you, BobD, that timeshare and fractional Owners can have such a list.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2202


02/25/2017 8:11 PM  
Kerry

I guess I can't expect you to comprehend. YOUR form is for your HOA and your HOA only. It doesn't apply to all, nor does it apply to ones I manage.

California does have protection for individuals that misuse the list, whether it is a property address or an email address. Through my software I also have protections built in.

As I have try to explain to you, there is case law. That case wasn't for timeshare or fractional ownership it was for CORPORATIONS. It is the same as trying to explain to you about email meetings between directors. The legislators spelled out their definition as the "same time and place", which emails don't qualify.

Either way, I am NOT the only one that has that opinion on either subject. You are always welcome to follow your attorney's opinion and I will follow my attorney's opinion.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4632


02/26/2017 8:47 AM  
RP: "YOUR form is for your HOA and your HOA only. It doesn't apply to all, nor does it apply to ones I manage."
KL: I didn't say or imply that our Consent Form applies to any HOA other than ours.

RP: "California does have protection for individuals that misuse the list."
KL: Translation? The Owners on your list can be protected from someone who has the list who wants to harass them, say with constant emails? About my lack of comprehension: you may be right on this one. How does your or anyone else's software protect those whose e-mail addys (privacy) is no longer kept confidential by the HOA?

RP: "That case wasn't for timeshare or fractional ownership it was for CORPORATIONS."
KL: I'm entirely aware of that; I read months ago. HAS this case law successfully been applied to CIDs? Do you have a written opinion from a HOA attorney on this topic that you'll share?

KL: Email meetings is NOT the subject of this thread. And...as you very well know, there are opinions that disagree with yours on that topic. As I wrote way above, I listen to our HOA attorney and his predecessor, the very smart & well-informed COO of our MC, and our current and past 3 PMs. That's part of my job as a director.

Look, Richard, since you're running for public office, consider getting someone to help you with your writing. Clarity seems to be one problem.
LindaK5
(California)

Posts:242


02/26/2017 9:05 AM  
Richard - some clarification for me .... you say "Membership lists, including secondary addresses and email addresses IF maintained and collected by the association, either by a self managed board or a management company does so using members monies. In short, the members fund the membership list. IF, members do not want their information shared, they may opt-out, at anytime. They also receive written notice every year of their right to have their information withheld form other members. The person who request such information and is bound by strict guideline on its use. I know directors that have violated that trust. " How does the membership fund a membership list if it is a self-managed community with volunteer Board members? Where does money come in?

Kerry - we have a form, too, that homeowners sign, but I think, like yours, it's about receiving e-mail notifications regarding the association, etc. They have the option of opt out as well.

We do keep a phone list that is available to homeowners at their request and homeowners are aware of that. We also have secondary phone numbers on the list for Board members, but that is not public (privacy of Board members).

The problem homeowner we're dealing with is also personally calling Board members (they know not to discuss business with this person) and also putting mail in their mailboxes (not through the postal system). Yes, it's a federal offense to do this, but I highly doubt the USPS has either the time or money to even touch that one!
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2202


02/26/2017 9:55 AM  
Kerry,

I will comment on each of your points and then I won't ever respond to a post that you respond to.

1) This is what you said about the consent form, and to get to picky, you don't say whether this was for your HOA or not The consent form that owners (including directors) must sign to receive communication from the HOA does NOT give anyone the right to give Owners' email addresses to other owners."

2) Corporation Code, if you read it or did any research will tell you what a membership list can't be used for. We have laws and rules throughout our state and country, that doesn't mean people actually follow them. Also, if I believe in releasing emails addresses to ONLY those people who specifically ask for them, how can you perceive I am keeping them confidential. What my software does is update their an owner's opt-in/opt-out status based on their individual desire.

3) As long as there is no specific clarification between corporation and a CID, I will follow the guidance given as case law for corporations.

4) You continually say the law say this or that, when in fact you are citing opinions. Then state that, not it's the law. I follow what the law specifically says, a meeting is defined as same time and place, email can't be defined as such.

Writing is not my strength. Understanding what the law says and when possible, going straight to the source and not relying solely on someone's opinion is my strength.

NOW, we are finished!
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2202


02/26/2017 10:08 AM  
Linda,

You bring up a good question. You have said you are self-managed. How do you send assessment statements or coupons out to homeowners. Do you use a bookkeeper? Do you use a program, maybe Quickbooks to track association finances. IF so, where did the money come from to either pay a bookkeeper or purchase and maintain a software program?

Corporation Code §8320 requires corporations to maintain a record of their members, §8330 gives Members the ability to request such list and §8338 defines recourse if that list is improperly used.

If you have a homeowner form collecting information and part of that is to send HOA communication via that collected and maintained list, then an Owner should have access IF they specifically ask for it and follow §8338 in its use, based on the case law that is out there.

I could be wrong, but I don't know of a CID that has challenged that decision.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4632


02/26/2017 11:01 AM  
Neither you nor I, Richard, are qualified to interpret the law. 9 years as a PM donees't give you those qualifications. 10 years as an very active, knowledge-hungry directors of a complex HOA don't give me those qualifications.

You have cited attorneys' opinions on some topics we argue about. I have too. but I also always go to the actual legislation and read it for myself. My professional background and training as a researcher permit no other approach.

Someone who posts here regularly once claimed that his reading comprehension ability is something like 98%. I happen to believe him. I don't know mine, but speculate it's up there. Reading comprehension and coherent writing are related. One of the reasons--just one--that I question you a lot is what I see as a misinterpretation of the law.

But again, you & I are not attorneys. I'd still like to see a CA attorney's interpretation of the case law about CID (HOA) corporations being required to give a list of members' emails to any owner in that HOA who wishes to possess it.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2202


02/26/2017 11:16 AM  
"Neither you nor I, Richard, are qualified to interpret the law."

Sorry, I am going to disagree. I am quite qualified to interpret that law. We do it in our everyday lives. IF, someone I do business with disagrees, then we can seek a second opinion. You say you go to the actual legislation to read, I go a step further and ask the actual person who sponsored the bill, who would know better.

In the years I have been doing this, I have NEVER had anything I have done challenged in court. No association I have represented, which is over 125, outside of taking a owner to small claims for failure to pay their assessments, has any association ever been taken to court or sued by an owner. I have never had to expend one dime on behalf of an association to seek legal advice on any matter. In short, I don't incur legal fees on behalf on my clients.

As far as I am concerned, the record speaks for itself and I sleep well at nights.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4632


02/26/2017 5:02 PM  
Richard, most of us do not have access to the authors of legislation. You've mentioned many, many times your communication with one such author. How may others are there? 2? 10? What happens when they die? We all, even you, will need to rely on the statutes themselves and any case law they may have yielded.

In addition, communications, let's say you interviewed them, done correctly requires training and experience in order to avoid questions to the respondents that are leading, loaded or biased.

to return to your insistence that HOAs must give Owners the email addresses to any other owner who requests them You said I think) that there are protections and recourse and cite Corps. Code §8338(b):

"Any person who violates the provisions of subdivision (a) shall be liable for any damage such violation causes the corporation and shall account for and pay to the corporation any profit derived as a result of said violation. In addition, a court in its discretion may award exemplary damages for a fraudulent or malicious violation of subdivision (a)...."

....(d) In any action or proceeding under this section, a court may award the corporation reasonable costs and expenses, including reasonable attorneys fees, in connection with such action or proceeding."

I don't see how a homeowner, director or not, who, say, gets constant badgering, whining, complaining emails from another owner has any protection or recourse. It appears from the above that only the "corporation" has recourse.

Again, I ask is there any attorney's opinion that support your interpretation of the corps. code? And applies it to HOAs? AnY At all?

Good that your MC never has been sued. Our HOA hasn't either. But neither our PM nor those in the past, nor our MC's CEO or COO have tried to give us legal opinions. They do suggest and even offer tentative opinions, but ALWAYS refer us to the proper experts. I'd be urging our board to look for a new MC if they did NOT refer us to our HOA attorney, or accountant, or construction defect attorney as th stations warrants.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2202


02/26/2017 5:31 PM  
I will be sure to pass YOUR recommendations on to my associations.
CarolS21
(Florida)

Posts:2


01/08/2018 8:03 AM  
Our HOA Board seems to think that by just giving your e-mail on a list constitutes consent in written form to receive all HOA notices. It was stated that it was "basic email law" True?
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1761


01/08/2018 2:58 PM  
Posted By CarolS21 on 01/08/2018 8:03 AM
Our HOA Board seems to think that by just giving your e-mail on a list constitutes consent in written form to receive all HOA notices. It was stated that it was "basic email law" True?

No, not true, Carol. Boards can be very lazy and lackadaisical about these things. In my HOA there should be, technically, 4 different lists of email addresses that are maintained separately:

1. owners who consent to receiving notices through email (statutory, in writing)
2. owners who consent to allowing the HOA to publish their email address (statutory, in writing)
3. residents who wish to receive the monthly community newsletter through email
4. as part of an owner's emergency contact information

1 & 2 are the only "email laws" that apply to FS 720 HOAs in Florida. They are not the same thing. You can consent to either one, both, or none as you see fit.

3 & 4 are specific to my HOA. In practice, however, the HOA completely disregards the fact that separate lists of addresses need to be maintained. Too much work to do it right. We have tenants who have signed up for the newsletter that also get HOA notices about meetings. We have owners who want to receive notices but not have their email address revealed to the world. Their email addresses end up on the published community directory every few months. Maybe your association is sloppy like mine. Any suggestion that these email addresses need to be better managed meets with glassy stares.

In any case, if you gave them your email address for some other purpose, they cannot say you agreed to receive notices via email unless they've got that in writing from you.
CarolS21
(Florida)

Posts:2


01/09/2018 8:44 AM  
Thank you. Your glassy stare comment is so right. Add to this issue is that our board does not even maintain a list of members, just "lots" So if there are 2 owners, both of which are members, each one should get notice. Now if you mail the notice you can address it "to owners at" or Mr and Mrs- if they are married, or put both names on envelope. I received an email notice but my husband did not, he says he was never notified and I have to agree.
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