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Subject: Facebook - Documents
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Author Messages
RebeccaA6
(Arizona)

Posts:27


03/05/2019 8:00 AM  
Two of our board members have decided that our governing documents are to be posted on Facebook for our members to see. The facebook page is private, but we all know that doesn't mean much.

What would be the best way to tell them that is not a good idea.

They have posted the bylaws, corporation commission documents, and want to post our tax returns. I know that this stuff is public knowledge but I also think Facebook is not the place for these documents.
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:437


03/05/2019 8:35 AM  
Posted By RebeccaA6 on 03/05/2019 8:00 AM
T

What would be the best way to tell them that is not a good idea.




Presumably in English. Take this up with the board
RebeccaA6
(Arizona)

Posts:27


03/05/2019 8:37 AM  
The board are the blind being lead by one person. We have 7 board members and only two seem to see things logically.

Is Facebook a good place for these documents?
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:437


03/05/2019 8:42 AM  
Posted By RebeccaA6 on 03/05/2019 8:37 AM


Is Facebook a good place for these documents?




Probably not. But if your board is doing it, that is what you're stuck with
AugustinD


Posts:1453


03/05/2019 8:47 AM  
I see zero problem with posting the governing documents on a Facebook site. They are public record at the County Clerk's. I do not see a problem posting the tax returns, either.
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:437


03/05/2019 9:09 AM  
I agree with the docs, the tax returns seem a little unnecessary
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8133


03/05/2019 9:13 AM  
Posted By MarkM31 on 03/05/2019 9:09 AM
I agree with the docs, the tax returns seem a little unnecessary




I agree.
ND
(PA)

Posts:243


03/05/2019 9:33 AM  
Last I checked, there were 3 privacy settings for fb groups: open, closed, or secret. I assume your 'private' group is set up as either closed or secret.

Depending on who the group admin(s) is/are and what sort of access controls are in place, there could be no issue with posting whatever you want in the group (within reason). If strict access controls (access limited to confirmed HOA members), you could post anything that might typically be posted in a private, invite-only, password-protected website. However, if access controls are crummy, and virtually anyone who requests access will be granted access, then certain things definitely should not be posted.

Governing docs are publically available and no issue posting them wherever. Tax returns likely not a huge issue to post, but I'd question the necessity. I suppose the bigger question is what are the long-term goals with the group, posting documents, controlling discussion. If there doesn't seem to be a dedicated effort to do it well and properly, then I suggest not even starting. Otherwise, something that shouldn't get posted will end up getting posted which could create issues.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1065


03/05/2019 3:10 PM  
Whether it is Facebook or your own website, the security is always questionable.

Frankly, if my only choice was fb, I would record the bylaws and then both the bylaws and the CCRs would be on record with the county.

Tax returns? I would not post them anywhere.
JeffW6
(Florida)

Posts:38


03/06/2019 4:57 AM  
I totally agree!
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3362


03/06/2019 11:18 AM  
I have built a number of HOA websites over the past 10 years. What documents would I put up there? Here is a list and then a justification for those documents to be made public.

1. Governing Docs (Articles of Incorporation, CCRs, Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, Election Rules (required in California) and any amendments to those documents.
2. Master Insurance Declaration Page
3. Architectural Review application
4. Monthly homeowner financials (balance sheet, income and expense statement)
5. Board approved minutes
6. Annual Budget Packet-Due 30 prior to close of fiscal year
7. Annual Financial Review-Due 120 days after close of fiscal year

I've managed over 120 HOA's over the last ten years and have had one person that ever was a pain in the ass for documents. Take away any objections from a owner saying the association is not being transparent or forthcoming.

These are documents that owner needs at some point in time. Some are to show what a Board does during their open meeting and how much money is there and where is it going. If they want to make changes to their property, the document to change is there. All HOA's I have managed file IRS 1120-H. All the form show is whether a HOA should be treated as an exempt organization for tax purposes, so I would never post it.

As far as the websites, I built a template that is used for everyone. Takes two hours to setup and maybe 15 minutes max per month to maintain. I use web portals for owners to access their own personal account where they can view and pay their bill, setup ACH, report a violation and open up a maintenance request.

Some argue that it should be behind some security door? Why? What part of any of the documents has to be potentially shielded from prying eyes that just aren't there.

My motto is "Be part of the solution, not part of the problem".
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:319


03/06/2019 11:30 AM  
Richard, we agree with what you have listed and make the same available. Many of the documents are already filed with the County and are available to anyone who wishes to look, others are not but what's the risk of posting insurance documents?

We occasionally put banners on the home page regarding upcoming HOA events, such as Annual Meetings, electronic recycle pick-up events, or instructions in the event of weather caused damage (one of our clients lost 25% of the privately and HOA owned trees in an EF1 or 2 tornado a few years ago. We also banner some events sponsored by the City.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3362


03/06/2019 11:41 AM  
If a HOA is a condo or townhome that mortgage companies will need proof of insurance, that updated declaration page is available to homeowners to forward to their respective mortgage company upon demand. If the community is a PUD when owners pay for their own homeowners insurance, the common area insurance declaration page is not posted as it has no relevance to homeowners or their mortgage company. I also don't post earthquake insurance declaration pages as the mortgage companies don't require that coverage.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2770


03/06/2019 1:12 PM  
Posted By RebeccaA6 on 03/05/2019 8:00 AM
What would be the best way to tell them that is not a good idea. ... I also think Facebook is not the place for these documents.

I completely agree. Are the documents available elsewhere as well? A couple of years ago some on our board wanted to do the same thing. A few of us talked them out of it by pointing out that it would be wrong to require homeowners to join (or even use) Facebook for any reason whatsoever, much less being able to access the HOA's governing documents. Facebook has a notorious reputation for abusing its users privacy. Plus, you will lose control over the documents because FB's terms of service give them the right to do whatever they want with what you post there. They will and do sell anything and everything they know about you to the highest bidder for advertising purposes. That's literally their business model.

If people want to use Facebook for their own personal needs then by all means they're free to do so, but forcing homeowners to use it is probably outside the bounds of what the association is authorized to do.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8133


03/06/2019 3:28 PM  
Geno

Can I assume you are all for posting the docs Richard listed, just no on FB.

What about on an association website?
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:643


03/07/2019 11:35 AM  
What Richard Said.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2770


03/07/2019 12:49 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 03/06/2019 3:28 PM
Geno

Can I assume you are all for posting the docs Richard listed, just no on FB.

What about on an association website?

I am in favor of putting as much as possible online. A website where the association is in full control of the contents would be perfect. In Florida, condo assns with over 150 units are required to have a website. The statute provides certain requirements of said website including:

"The association’s website must be accessible through the Internet and must contain a subpage, web portal, or other protected electronic location that is inaccessible to the general public and accessible only to unit owners and employees of the association."

"Upon a unit owner’s written request, the association must provide the unit owner with a username and password and access to the protected sections of the association’s website that contain any notices, records, or documents that must be electronically provided."

As for the first quoted excerpt, I don't think a FB page would qualify because FB reserves the right to review everything one posts on FB, and to provide links to the content as they see fit. Any FB administrative oversight on a putative "Association FB" page would not be permitted.

As for the second quoted excerpt, note that the association must give the requesting owner an id and password. "You have to sign yourself up to Facebook, we can't give you a username/password," doesn't cut it.

There's another subsection that raises questions, too, regarding whether FB would qualify in terms of fulfilling the requirements.
RebeccaA6
(Arizona)

Posts:27


03/07/2019 1:00 PM  
Our association is small and there are many lots still owned by the subdivide. Are they considered an owner if they have unsold lots but don't pay any land owner dues? They also have lots that were sold under a warrenty deed and were given back because the person could not afford them anymore. Would the subdivider be an owner if they pay full dues on each?
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2770


03/07/2019 3:47 PM  
Posted By RebeccaA6 on 03/07/2019 1:00 PM
Our association is small and there are many lots still owned by the subdivide. Are they considered an owner if they have unsold lots but don't pay any land owner dues? They also have lots that were sold under a warrenty deed and were given back because the person could not afford them anymore. Would the subdivider be an owner if they pay full dues on each?

The devil is in the details of the governing documents.
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1354


03/08/2019 8:46 AM  
Posted By RebeccaA6 on 03/05/2019 8:00 AM
Two of our board members have decided that our governing documents are to be posted on Facebook for our members to see. The facebook page is private, but we all know that doesn't mean much.

What would be the best way to tell them that is not a good idea.

They have posted the bylaws, corporation commission documents, and want to post our tax returns. I know that this stuff is public knowledge but I also think Facebook is not the place for these documents.




Why does it matter? Those are your governing documents presented in an accessible fashion.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1065


03/08/2019 11:21 AM  
Kelly,

It could matter - I agree that since the governing docs are already public, it should not matter - BUT, the intent to post tax filings could lead to other things being posted - financials, minutes of meetings, names of residents, etc.

Sure, much is available online when one does good research, but ...

Social media is a magnet for aggressive research.
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1354


03/08/2019 12:00 PM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 03/08/2019 11:21 AM
Kelly,

It could matter - I agree that since the governing docs are already public, it should not matter - BUT, the intent to post tax filings could lead to other things being posted - financials, minutes of meetings, names of residents, etc.

Sure, much is available online when one does good research, but ...

Social media is a magnet for aggressive research.




Personal information is not appropriate. The rest of it is subject to board policy...though I really don't see why it's helpful to post tax filings. I love the expert HOA "watchdogs" that know nothing, have zero perspective but demand deep information.

I agree w/ you that too many people always use the information to confirm negative positions.
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