Get 1 year of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Friday, February 28, 2020











HOATalk is a free service of Community123.com:

Get 1 free year community website and email newsletter hosting from Community123.com!
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: Inspection of all books, records, papers, during all times for reasonable business hours.
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
TeriQ
(Wyoming)

Posts:22


10/12/2019 11:56 PM  
Do all HOA's state this. Do any of you ask to inspect? Have you ever been on the Board and been refused inspection. Do you become suspicious if the Board "doth protest too much"? Do other request inspection? We have a complaint in county court to determine if we may see books, records, papers.

Is fiduciary responsibility involved regardless of stating it in the governing documents?

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16681


10/13/2019 2:29 AM  
Typically, most associations provide an opportunity for members to review the records (minus those that can legally be withheld - communication with attorney, financial ledger of any lot other then the member, etc.)


That said, I requested access to documents and was told no.
I pushed and was told wait.
I filed a formal complaint and was given the documents.


It depends on the board as to the level of transparency.
When I served, our financials were on the website as part of the minutes.
Now, the board doesn't publish them.
Why not? I have no idea.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3987


10/13/2019 6:22 AM  
Before we went self-managed, we went through around 7 management companies. Our records from each of those MCs are sitting in boxes in one of our homeowner's basement. If anyone wanted to see what's in those boxes, it would be a nightmare trying to locate anything. Some day, when someone has the time and desire, we'll go through those records. But no one is interested.

Sometimes it's more than just transparency. When you inherit junk, and people expect you to have everything at your fingertips, well ... that's not always a reasonable expectation.


Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2984


10/13/2019 6:58 AM  
1. As tim said, this can vary by association, so you'd have to check their governing documents and state law, because some states have very specific statutes about this.

2 and 3 - I never asked during my 10 years on the board, but I'm not aware of anyone being denied. Homeowners aren't entitled to see information on another homeowner or documents that fall under attorney -client privilege (mostly our delinquency reports and related documents), but most everything else is available.

I think fiduciary responsibility is a factor in this. As tim and NpS stated, the board is acting on behalf of the homeowners, and one way to monitor if that's being done is to look at the documents.

You don't say what this lawsuit is about, but if you're the one thing the the association, You need to ask your attorney about this. That said, I never had a problem with homeowners looking agency documents during business hours. If they want copies, they should pay for them (photocopy expenses should be reasonable, based on the going rate).

You also need to be reasonable in your request. If you want records from, say 20 years ago, it's probably unrealistic to expect that to be available on a moment's notice. They are probably stored off-site, meaning someone will need to get the right box and then dig through it to get whatever you want. That takes time and money - are you willing to pay for it?

Those documents from 20 years ago may have been generated boards who aren't around anymore, or the statute of limitations has run out and won't help you anyway.

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9034


10/13/2019 8:24 AM  
Think many people hold a "romantic" view of what it means to see records and what records exist. Like I don't see this record so is the HOA board hiding something? Well that record may not even exist or information recorded. So make sure you have a defined list of what information you want to see. The board may or may not have it to provide.

Our records? Kept in a box in the clubhouse closet. How romantic is that? It was over 20 years of records in like 2 banker's boxes. Which I went through and organized. This did NOT include financials as those were electronic. The treasurer/accountant had those. However, we went through the expenditures each meeting and provided copies. Collections we reviewed (openly) but did not refer to names nor distributed outside of the board. We discussed it with you on an individual basis and/or discussed as actions taking for collections.

You would be allowed to view the records upon request during time a board member was available or accountant office was open. Didn't hide a thing. Still would get complaints. It's not my job to spoonfeed you. It's your responsibility to attend meetings to find out what is happening and participate.

Funny thing is that I got accused of "stealing" the HOA records when I moved. The new board got dragged into court over the foreclosure we did. Made me responsible for going to court for them. They told everyone I had taken the records and why they couldn't do it. Funny thing? I am in court testifying to the FACT that the records in the lawyer's hands were the HOA's. They were the EXACT records I had put in a separate file inside the box in the clubhouse. The very clubhouse they held meetings in and had the key to the closet...

So been on the other side of demanding records and providing them. What you may want to view may not actually exist or is just badly organized. I know ours was basically thrown in a box and was once kept by our oldest resident. Good thing she used to be an IRS agent and knew record keeping...

Former HOA President
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3577


10/13/2019 12:49 PM  
Posted By TeriQ on 10/12/2019 11:56 PM
Do all HOA's state this. Do any of you ask to inspect? Have you ever been on the Board and been refused inspection. Do you become suspicious if the Board "doth protest too much"? Do other request inspection? We have a complaint in county court to determine if we may see books, records, papers.


It's the law in Florida that almost everything has to be open for inspection by the members. It's also the single biggest complaint about HOAs and condos in Florida and from that you can infer that people ask to inspect the official records all the time.

I think a lot is going to depend on your state's laws and also on what side of the bed the judge woke up on.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3581


10/13/2019 5:15 PM  

So been on the other side of demanding records and providing them. What you may want to view may not actually exist or is just badly organized. I know ours was basically thrown in a box and was once kept by our oldest resident.


I bought a scanner for $5 at a local thrift store and while sitting on the couch watching tv I would scan. Took awhile, but it only needs to be done once.

Everything was named like this: 01.01.90_INVOICE_LAWN.PDF day, month, year and sorted into folders JAN, FEB, MAR and then by year, 1990, 1991, 1992, etc.

Next, uploaded to google drive. If anyone wants to demand records, I simply give them the url to the shared google drive. They can look through it to their hearts content. No one has to do anything. No one needs to photocopy. No need to do it during business hours, No one needs to lift a finger..... etc.

Keeping stuff simple makes life so much easier for everyone.
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Inspection of all books, records, papers, during all times for reasonable business hours.



Get 1 year of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!

Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.







General Legal Notice:  The content of forum messages are from the posting member and have not been reviewed nor endorsed by HOATalk.com.  Messages posted by HOATalk or other members are for informational purposes only, are not legal or professional advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  HOATalk is not a licensed attorney, CPA, tax advisor, financial advisor or any other licensed professional.  HOATalk accepts ads from sponsors but does not verify sponsor qualifications nor endorse/guarantee any sponsor's product or service.
Legal Notice For Messages Posted by Sponsoring Attorneys: This message has been prepared by the sponsoring attorney for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Readers of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send any sponsoring attorney confidential information unless you speak with the sponsoring attorney or an attorney from the sponsoring attorney’s firm and get authorization to send that information to them. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in the firm of the sponsoring attorney. Sponsoring attorneys that post messages here are licensed to practice law in a specific state or states as indicated in their message signature or sponsor’s profile page. (NOTE: A ‘sponsoring attorney’ is an attorney that is a HOATalk.com official sponsor and is identified as such in the posted message or on our sponsor page.)

Copyright HOA Talk.com, A Service of Community123 LLC ( Homeowners Association Discussions )   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement