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Subject: Board limits viewing of financials
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Author Messages
JW7
(Tennessee)

Posts:14


01/10/2019 11:17 AM  
Our HOA in Tennessee has begun limiting views/viewers of the financial records, stating to one owner, "Please be advised the Board will no longer consider your demands to be provided all financial documentation" (such as invoices, etc.) The Board even wanted to have their attorney present when this homeowner made an appt to view records pertaining to her unit.

Tennessee State law clearly states: 66-27-417. Association records.
The association shall keep financial records sufficiently detailed to enable the association to comply with §§ 66-27-502 and 66-27-503. All financial and other records shall be made reasonably available for examination by any unit owner, the holder of any mortgage or deed of trust encumbering a unit, and their respective authorized agents.

Of course the Board doesn't want to be frequently inconvenienced, but their actions make me wonder - what are they trying to hide? Thoughts?
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:579


01/10/2019 11:20 AM  
Sounds like it's time for a forensic audit.
JW7
(Tennessee)

Posts:14


01/10/2019 11:41 AM  
Can the homeowners force the Board to order/pay for an audit? Can the homeowners appeal to the State?
AugustinD


Posts:1271


01/10/2019 12:22 PM  
JW7,

-- Is it just one member having problems viewing financial records, or is it all members who are being so restricted?

-- Did a member in fact repeatedly demand to see "all financial documents"? If so, I view this as unreasonable. The member has to be specific. No fishing expeditions. No laboring the staff to do the work the member should do.

-- Else it is so common for boards to restrict access to records or otherwise try to intimidate members from seeing xyz. They have control over what the HOA attorney does. The HOA attorney largely just followed orders, as a hired gun who is happy to run up billable hours. To rectify unlawful practices regarding records viewing typically requires a letter of demand. Then the person making the request will be painted by the board as a troublemaker. HOA management and their volunteer boards are typically such a joke and so typically unprofessional.

-- On the other hand, members just as often are clueless about the "contract" they signed when they joined the HOA. Members should not be asking for things that are not allowed in the governing documents.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:124


01/10/2019 1:03 PM  
Posted By JW7 on 01/10/2019 11:41 AM
Can the homeowners force the Board to order/pay for an audit? Can the homeowners appeal to the State?




Look in your CC&Rs and bylaws to see if they require an annual audit or review of the books. Ours do.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:124


01/10/2019 1:30 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 01/10/2019 12:22 PM
JW7,
...
-- Did a member in fact repeatedly demand to see "all financial documents"? If so, I view this as unreasonable. The member has to be specific. No fishing expeditions. No laboring the staff to do the work the member should do.
...




The OP should keep in mind that "all financial documents" will also include aging of receivables, which is where the list of delinquent homeowners can appear. Often that information must be kept confidential since it may involve collection actions that are regulated by state and federal fair debt collection laws. There may be other items that also must be kept confidential, which is why homeowners aren't given blanket access to HOA records.

In the OP's position, I'd want to know:

* How does the Board define "restricted access"? Does their definition comply with state law and the CC&Rs?
* Does it apply to everyone or to a particular homeowner with a chip on his shoulder?
* Has there been a recent audit and what was the result? (Our bylaws require an annual audit and state that the report must be made available to owners upon request.)
* Why is the HOA attorney there? (Could be just a precaution. We tend to get our attorney involved if a homeowner has made threats to sue. If that person were also demanding to see HOA records, we'd absolutely have the attorney present.)

In other words, what has caused the Board to take this position now? It certainly could be a red flag, but without more information we can't tell.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1307


01/10/2019 8:08 PM  
Posted By JW7 on 01/10/2019 11:41 AM
Can the homeowners appeal to the State?

Most states do not have any agency that enforces HOA laws, they leave it up to the owners to pursue relief through the courts (via lawsuit).

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:116


01/12/2019 6:29 AM  
“Reasonable” is the key word here.

What is this owner asking for and why? Sounds to me like there’s an owner harrassing the board with repeated nonspecific requests.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7927


01/12/2019 8:54 AM  
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 01/12/2019 6:29 AM
“Reasonable” is the key word here.

What is this owner asking for and why? Sounds to me like there’s an owner harrassing the board with repeated nonspecific requests.




Sounds the same to me especially asking for all invoices.
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