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Subject: Meeting Minutes
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KristineK2


Posts:0


07/20/2019 5:13 AM  
I requested meeting minutes from the last HOA meeting since I could not attend. I was told by the property manager that I have to wait until they are approved at the next board meeting (which isn't till September since they meet bimonthly) and that I will be charged 50 cents a page. Do I have to wait this long to receive meeting minutes. I also asked if I could pick them up to save money on postage. I have received no reply back.

In addition, back in May we have email trails back and forth with the president asking to have a meeting regarding complaints about out tenant since we were getting 2 different sides of the story... one side from the HOA and then our tenants side. He said we could attend the board meeting, which unfortunately they only meet Wednesday evenings (bi monthly) and we couldn't make the may meeting. Next thing I know I received a letter from the lawyer stating that we need to have a hearing and may be fined. We were notified of any of the violations listed... one of which is a blatant lie about water damage that we had our home owners insurance take care of immediately and have documentation of all of that. I thought they had to have a mediation period before going right to a hearing?

Also, since the lawyer said she represents unit owners and I'm an owner... who is paying for her? Wondering if part of my HOA dues are paying for her service yet she seems very one sided and not representing me as a unit owner at all!
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8764


07/20/2019 6:33 AM  
Where to start... No you can NOT have the meeting notes early. They are NOT official notes of the HOA until they are approved by the next meeting. This is how this works. Usually 1st part of each meeting is going over last meeting notes to verify they are correct before accepting them as fact.

Yes, they can charge you for copies whether you pick up or not. It is usually 10 - 20 cents a copy of a page. Copies cost money. The HOA needs to be reimbursed for that expense. It's not a "free" service.

Not sure what you mean by mediation before a hearing? A hearing is usually the mediation part.

Suing your HOA is suing yourself and your neighbors. That is because the money they use comes from the dues you pay. HOA is ONLY funded by the membership. The HOA lawyer represents the HOA entirely NOT you as an individual. You as an individual need to hire your own attorney. No. You can't change this FACT. It is a consequence of deciding to sue or hire a lawyer when your in a HOA.

Former HOA President
AugustinD


Posts:2063


07/20/2019 6:44 AM  
Posted By KristineK2 on 07/20/2019 5:13 AM
I requested meeting minutes from the last HOA meeting since I could not attend. I was told by the property manager that I have to wait until they are approved at the next board meeting (which isn't till September since they meet bimonthly) and that I will be charged 50 cents a page. Do I have to wait this long to receive meeting minutes. I also asked if I could pick them up to save money on postage. I have received no reply back.


Maryland statute 11-116 addresses this for Maryland condominiums. See https://sos.maryland.gov/Documents/CondominiumBooklet.pdf and http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2019RS/Statute_Google/grp/11-116.pdf

I think the "draft Minutes" can be argued to be official records. In which case, you are entitled to have them within 21 days of your request. But I am not 100% sure about this when it comes to draft minutes. Condominiums understandably would not want draft minutes floating around. You might request only viewing, without copying, the draft Minutes, and remind the manager of the 21 day requirement.

Regarding the charge, you can try telling the manager that, pursuant to Marlyand Statute 11-116, you want to inspect the records and will make your own copies with your phone. Else the condo is allowed to charge. I believe 50 cents per page is usual in Maryland.

In addition, back in May we have email trails back and forth with the president asking to have a meeting regarding complaints about out tenant since we were getting 2 different sides of the story... one side from the HOA and then our tenants side. He said we could attend the board meeting, which unfortunately they only meet Wednesday evenings (bi monthly) and we couldn't make the may meeting. Next thing I know I received a letter from the lawyer stating that we need to have a hearing and may be fined. We were notified of any of the violations listed... one of which is a blatant lie about water damage that we had our home owners insurance take care of immediately and have documentation of all of that. I thought they had to have a mediation period before going right to a hearing?


What do you mean by "mediation period"? A hearing is usual. It should be held in an executive session of the board.

I do not see anything wrong here. I would keep in mind that the board is all-volunteer. They are giving a lot of their time, unpaid, to run the condo. I think members should try to respect the bord members' schedules. Things do tend to move slowly at condos and HOAs as a result.

Also, since the lawyer said she represents unit owners and I'm an owner... who is paying for her? Wondering if part of my HOA dues are paying for her service yet she seems very one sided and not representing me as a unit owner at all!


Your condominium dues are paying for the the condominium's attorney. However, the condominium attorney should tell you her client is "the condominium" and 'the members en masse.' Her client is not any one member nor any one faction of members. She represents the condominium in its entirety, as a corporate entity, legally run by a board, with said board directing the attorney as to the board's and condo's needs. In conflicts between the condominium and any one member, the condominium attorney is required by law to be on the side of the condominium. (She is also required by law to disclose this to you when the condo and you are in an adversarial relationship on a certain issue.) The good condo attorneys define the best interests of the condominium to be 'following the law.' However, a Board can get away with a lot with its attorney. This may include asking (in so many words) the condo attorney to find gray areas to deal with a "problem owner."
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6726


07/20/2019 7:17 AM  
Unless MD statutes specifically state that Owners may have copies of draft minutes, I don't think they can. In CA, statutes do say owners may have copies of draft minutes, clearly marked DRAFT 30 days after the relevant meeting. Since our PM responds to requests for records electronically, she does not charge for them. But it's clear that the OP's PM can charge her.

What do your own governing documents say about record requests, Kristin? Might be in your bylaws.

Kristin wrote: "Also, since the lawyer said she represents unit owners and I'm an owner... who is paying for her?" This sounds "off" to me. She probably represents "the HOA," but not individual unit owners as Augustin points out. If you're uncertain, request a copy of your Association's contract with the attorney," for which you can be charged.

I agree it sounds right that Kristin was notified to attend a hearing. If you cannot attend on the date specified, politely ask for different dates. The hearing gives you a chance to present your side and show your evidence of water remediation.

What do your own documents says about hearings, Kristin?

SheilaJ1
(South Carolina)

Posts:121


07/20/2019 8:30 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 07/20/2019 6:33 AM
Where to start... No you can NOT have the meeting notes early. They are NOT official notes of the HOA until they are approved by the next meeting. This is how this works. Usually 1st part of each meeting is going over last meeting notes to verify they are correct before accepting them as fact.

Yes, they can charge you for copies whether you pick up or not. It is usually 10 - 20 cents a copy of a page. Copies cost money. The HOA needs to be reimbursed for that expense. It's not a "free" service.

Not sure what you mean by mediation before a hearing? A hearing is usually the mediation part.

Suing your HOA is suing yourself and your neighbors. That is because the money they use comes from the dues you pay. HOA is ONLY funded by the membership. The HOA lawyer represents the HOA entirely NOT you as an individual. You as an individual need to hire your own attorney. No. You can't change this FACT. It is a consequence of deciding to sue or hire a lawyer when your in a HOA.


This is wrong, some states allow viewing draft minutes usually 30-90 days after the meeting unless a meeting is called sooner by which they need to have been made available to members as a part of the meeting packet. Case law and judges opinions also back this up. Maryland law would have to be checked including the corporation act.

The rest of your statement is gibberish and used to intimidate forum posters.

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