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Subject: When a resident requests Financials.
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FredW5
(Florida)

Posts:109


03/08/2019 10:39 AM  
What must be included? Example: I believe Florida law says residents can personally inspect, or receive via .Pdf, or mail all financial records excluding Att correspondence.
Its also in the by-laws, But Management Company says they don’t have to submit all requested items, such as checo paid, residents in arrears,and for how long in arrey and late penalties.
Thanks!
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1367


03/08/2019 11:58 AM  
Posted By FredW5 on 03/08/2019 10:39 AM
What must be included? Example: I believe Florida law says residents can personally inspect, or receive via .Pdf, or mail all financial records excluding Att correspondence.
Its also in the by-laws, But Management Company says they don’t have to submit all requested items, such as checo paid, residents in arrears,and for how long in arrey and late penalties.
Thanks!




I would, if easy to do, supply the current month's financial statement without sharing any documents reflecting individual accounts. In fact, checks paid and personal account information is not germane to "studying the financials."
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6350


03/08/2019 1:06 PM  
You'll have to show us, Fred, where FL law says personal records of individual owners , e.g., individual delinquencies, actuals checks written by Owners, etc. must be made available to you. Also quote your bylaws exactly on that topic.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2470


03/08/2019 2:16 PM  
You should be able to get an itemized copy of the budget, income/expense reports and a copy of the reserve study, as a start, but we never provide information on other homeowners' accounts. It's a privacy issue, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Fair Debt Collections Act prohibit disclosing debt information (e.g. names of people who owe, to whom and how much) to other people or third parties unless those folks have some sort of business interest. I know there's been discussion on this board as to whether or not these federal laws apply to HOA collections, but our association attorney says it does and I know the penalties for disclosure is pretty steep, so we don't disclose that information.

However, homeowners should be able to get delinquency totals. When we had our newsletter, we would publish the total number of people owing the association, breaking it down by 30, 60, 90, 120 and over 120 days, the total amount owed the association, total number of people who'd been referred to the association attorney for collection, and how much had been recovered. Your board should also be able to say what legal action has been taken, such as X number of people in foreclosure, but if you want to know specifics, check the newspaper or research court records.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2901


03/08/2019 2:28 PM  
Posted By FredW5 on 03/08/2019 10:39 AM
What must be included? Example: I believe Florida law says residents can personally inspect, or receive via .Pdf, or mail all financial records excluding Att correspondence.
Its also in the by-laws, But Management Company says they don’t have to submit all requested items, such as checo paid, residents in arrears,and for how long in arrey and late penalties.
Thanks!

Sounds like you need a new management company, Fred. You are legally entitled to see this information.




Are condo owners permitted to see the Accounts Receivable details that include unit numbers and names supporting the receivable balance?

In Florida the right to see this information is explicitly stated right in the statutes.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2901


03/08/2019 2:29 PM  
Oops there was another URL link that got swallowed in that last post.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2901


03/08/2019 2:30 PM  
Florida is different.
CarolF
(Florida)

Posts:417


03/08/2019 2:36 PM  

Kaye Bender Rembaum

9121 N Military Trail #200,
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
E-mail: [email protected]
April 22nd, 2016
The Right of Inspection of the Official Records of the Association
Members of a Florida community association have a statutory right to access their community association’s “official records”, subject to limited exceptions, including for example, records protected by the attorney-client privilege and records containing a member’s medical information. Both Chapter 718 and Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes, regarding condominium associations and homeowners’ associations, respectively, provide that association members have the right to inspect the official records of the association, which includes the right to make or obtain copies, often at the member’s expense. The failure to timely respond to such a request can lead to statutory damages.
In the event a community association fails to timely make its official records available to a requesting member within 10 days of the request, a rebuttable presumption of the association’s willful failure to comply with an official records request is created which can subject the association to a claim for damages, too. That said, many times the same mistake is made when seeking to obtain copies of desired official records – the member requests the association send them copies of the desired official records rather than requesting an inspection of the official records.
CarolF
(Florida)

Posts:417


03/08/2019 2:42 PM  
I posted above so you can see a FL attorney's statement about requesting information.
Remember.....you can request to see the information and copy it (yourself) perhaps subject
to a charge for using their copy machine after a given number of pages. You DO NOT have the right to expect that they will send the information to you by email, or by mail.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1394


03/08/2019 7:23 PM  
Posted By FredW5 on 03/08/2019 10:39 AM
What must be included? Example: I believe Florida law says residents can personally inspect, or receive via .Pdf, or mail all financial records excluding Att correspondence.
Its also in the by-laws, But Management Company says they don’t have to submit all requested items, such as checo paid, residents in arrears,and for how long in arrey and late penalties.
Thanks!


As far as I know, records only need to be made available for inspection and copying. There is no requirement to create PDFs or mail anything. As others have said, there are certain defined sets of records that are exempt, and payment status and checks paid are not in those groups.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
EdC5
(Florida)

Posts:79


03/12/2019 6:26 AM  
What hasn't been mentioned is that if an association (in Florida) has more than 150 units then the association MUST have a website, and the official records (member list, financials, minutes, etc.) must be posted on the website (in a members-only area). I don't know if this helps the OP since the size of the association wasn't mentioned; however, it should take care of my of the complaints I've seen on this site about owners not being able to get information from the community's MC.

Edward J Cooke, CMCA, LCAM
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1208


03/12/2019 7:45 AM  
To be clear - only COAs, not HOA/POA, right?
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2901


03/13/2019 1:05 AM  
Posted By EdC5 on 03/12/2019 6:26 AM
What hasn't been mentioned is that if an association (in Florida) has more than 150 units then the association MUST have a website, and the official records (member list, financials, minutes, etc.) must be posted on the website (in a members-only area). I don't know if this helps the OP since the size of the association wasn't mentioned; however, it should take care of my of the complaints I've seen on this site about owners not being able to get information from the community's MC.

Unfortunately that's only for Condo Associations and not HOAs.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3231


03/13/2019 8:57 AM  
Transparency.
We keep all of our records in scanned PDF files and posted to our website. If someone wants to inspect something we simply give them the link and let them find it. Takes 3 seconds to send an email. For checks, all records are exported from mint (kinda like quickbooks) and posted in Google sheets (like excel) All addresses are also for any homeowner to see along with check numbers for the month paid and penalties, Google sheets.

All transparent for everyone to see.

Its also a great way to archive paperwork for future generations of owners.

You would be surprised how many disgruntled homeowner issues disappear when people know what's going on. And some very qualified, competent people have volunteered to fix things they think they can do better. Its a win, win.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3525


03/13/2019 9:21 AM  
Posted By SteveM9 on 03/13/2019 8:57 AM
Transparency.
We keep all of our records in scanned PDF files and posted to our website. If someone wants to inspect something we simply give them the link and let them find it. Takes 3 seconds to send an email. For checks, all records are exported from mint (kinda like quickbooks) and posted in Google sheets (like excel) All addresses are also for any homeowner to see along with check numbers for the month paid and penalties, Google sheets.

All transparent for everyone to see.

Its also a great way to archive paperwork for future generations of owners.

You would be surprised how many disgruntled homeowner issues disappear when people know what's going on. And some very qualified, competent people have volunteered to fix things they think they can do better. Its a win, win.



AMEN!

Been there, Done that
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8270


03/13/2019 10:25 AM  
All an owner needs to do to get all our financial reports (40 pages) is request it to be sent and it will be sent in an Email. The Delinquent List is withheld.

At our Annual Meeting we give out the prior year Profit and Loss Statement, a last year Actual to Budget report, and an updated (this year) Actual to Budget report. About 4 pages in total. We review it and answer any questions.

We have only had one owner request a full financial statement and this was when we had a dues increase. He had it within two days. I followed up with an Email two weeks later asking if he had a chance to review it and if he had any questions. He replied thanks and no questions.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1208


03/13/2019 12:26 PM  
Sharing is now a best practice - if all HOAs were open as we are suggesting, it would eliminate a lot of infighting in those neighborhoods and improve the level of, and perception of, governance.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3231


03/13/2019 4:59 PM  
And when I say "pdf files are posted to our website" what I mean is our google drive. Simple save the scanned files to the google drive and share the link. Files are save in folders like this: 2019 -> Jan Year, then month and all the PDF's will be in that folder. No need for someone to update a web site, its live.
LanceG1
(Georgia)

Posts:42


03/21/2019 9:40 AM  
I want to offer another plus one to this. Our board has been opaque with some of our things which lead me to run for a position. Now I'm on a board and am having trouble getting this information.

One of my big things is transparency where it is legally possible. IE: don't share personal debt collection stuff and individual account information, but transparency into vendor payments etc. would seem like fair game.

CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:243


03/21/2019 12:17 PM  
It seems odd to me that Florida condos are apparently exempt from following provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Fair Debt Collections Act, since federal law is supposed to supersede state law and COA CC&Rs. Does Florida assume that by buying a condo you're agreeing to disclosure of your debts? Or that other condo owners are interested parties with a right to know such things?

(I found out recently that one of our attorneys is licensed in both Ohio and Florida, just because things are so "interesting" down there.)
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2901


03/21/2019 1:21 PM  
My take is that in a Florida Condo or HOA (and maybe co-ops too) the essential relationship isn't a straight-up debtor-creditor one. There's a contractual agreement wherein you agree to abide by the governing documents and state law when you sign on the dotted line. Since state law says your payment history (or non-payment history) is an "official record" of the association and all association members have the right to see all of the official records, you're effectively waiving your right to privacy regarding your monetary obligations to the assocaition. You agreed to that when you bought into a mandatory association.

Establishing a website for a condo with 150 units or more only became law last year. There are a great number which have not done so yet. The idea was to cut down on the number of individual requests to inspect the official records. By putting everything online (password-restricted website) things should be more transparent, and the statute also puts boards on notice that, yes, you really do have to make those official records available, even you'd rather not do that.

What association president doesn't want to hide the fact that $50,000 was paid for landscaping to his brother-in-law who doesn't even own a lawnmower? When the financial reports are online and available to all owners it's harder to hide that sort of thing. It leads to more transparency and accountability.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3231


03/21/2019 2:00 PM  
Its not in the debt collection business. Just like burger king is not a debt collector.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:243


03/21/2019 2:52 PM  
Posted By SteveM9 on 03/21/2019 2:00 PM
Its not in the debt collection business. Just like burger king is not a debt collector.




When our attorney sends out a collection letter, the letter starts off "This office represents XYZ Condominiums, Inc. This communication is from a debt collector. This is an attempt to collect a debt..."

I guess you could interpret this as the attorney is the debt collector, not the association. But the attorney is acting as the association's agent, so not sure I see much of a distinction here especially since our bylaws authorize the board to collect assessments (in Ohio, fines and late fees are considered "assessments" that may trigger foreclosure).
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3525


03/21/2019 3:09 PM  
It is in two parts. They represent or given direction by the association, second part states the communication is from a debt collector, the attorney.

Been there, Done that
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3231


03/21/2019 7:25 PM  

I guess you could interpret this as the attorney is the debt collector, not the association.


Yep. The association hired a debt collector. The association is NOT a debt collector.
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