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Subject: Member Requests Communications by Snail Mail Rather than Email
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Author Messages
IndieS
(Colorado)

Posts:78


05/18/2020 7:57 PM  
Silly situation, but I appreciate the advice offered on this forum.

A member of our HOA informed select Directors/Officers that she no longer wants to receive Board communications via email, but would rather receive them via USPS. She sent the request via email.

She is the only member of the HOA who has asked for this service. No explanation of why and this woman certainly has an operable PC and internet access, as she works in IT from home and her job requires her to have such. There is nothing in the bylaws that addresses this issue and we don't have a website where we could post announcements, though that is in the works.

It is a small inconvenience, but the Board thinks it is merely a control issue on her part, as she has been difficult and uncooperative in the past.

Would you continue to send emails to her last known email address, together with all other members, or would you print and mail as she requested? If we did set up a website and posted announcements to it, and she insisted on receiving USPS notifications despite her ability to read Board communications online, should they be mailed to her?

TIA
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:707


05/18/2020 8:27 PM  
Under these circumstances I would send her emails like everyone else and let her know she's not special.

We give people the option but with 450 owners, I'm sure we have some that actually do not use email. I would not make an exception for one person who clearly can navigate email.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9306


05/18/2020 9:13 PM  
Charge money for it. The HOA can be reimbursed for the expense. Which could be labor. It cost money to mail. Sounds like something is up for this change. Do you smell lawsuit in the air?

Former HOA President
MarkW18


Posts:1067


05/18/2020 9:28 PM  
I am not familiar with Colorado law, but in California, you could not charge for something that was sent regular mail before. In California, member would have to legally opt-in to receive normal association communication via some form of electronic transmission. In California, it is require to disclose to owners they may opt-out on an annual basis.

It is possible, that Colorado has some rules for opting in or out of association communication and if the OP is on the Board they should know that. My opinion, you can't charge for the information based on what the OP posted.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16778


05/18/2020 10:54 PM  
In Virginia, it's the members option to receive electronic communication.
Hence, we would comply with the request at no charge to the member.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:953


05/19/2020 5:29 AM  
We also go along with such requests, but we make it clear to the owner that opting for snail mail only means that she will not receive urgent communications in a timely fashion - for example, our manager does email blasts to the entire community for something like a water main break that requires the water to be shut off. It may not be a bad idea to put this in a form that the owner has to sign.

I have heard of other communities that require an email address for all association business, so they would have denied such a request.

We had one owner who requested that the manager call her instead of emailing. We said "newp".
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2681


05/19/2020 8:58 AM  
Hmmm. "...Board communications ..."

Devil in the details ...

What kind of communications?

Board meeting minutes? Should be posted online - and, likely there is no requirement to provide at all.

Annual meeting minutes? Likely part of the mail out that is required by most states and CCRs.

Financial statements? Part of some other package, usually?

Special communications? Depends on whether it is required by law or CCR? If not required, then email.

In summary: other than the annual meeting notice, not much else is likely to be mandated by law - excepting special meetings, etc. I would make all this clear to her. If she insists on having things mailed to her that are not required, either insist on payment in advance, or just say no. A website solves almost all of this.
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1509


05/19/2020 12:03 PM  
I'd gladly ensure information was "snail mailed" but would exclude everything except legally required communication (which should travel by mail, nonetheless).

ND
(PA)

Posts:440


05/19/2020 12:25 PM  
Posted By KellyM3 on 05/19/2020 12:03 PM
I'd gladly ensure information was "snail mailed" but would exclude everything except legally required communication (which should travel by mail, nonetheless).





Agree completely with this!
Snail mail only what is legally required and (if different) that which your governing docs indicate should be mailed to all owners.
Continue to include her on email distro at whatever email address she may have previously provided. That way she is still getting the info whether or not she chooses to read it.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3805


05/19/2020 2:08 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 05/18/2020 10:54 PM
In Virginia, it's the members option to receive electronic communication.
Hence, we would comply with the request at no charge to the member.

Same in Florida. Just because we have "special knowledge" that a homeowner has a computer and/or can use email doesn't negate the fact that, by statute, if an owner doesn't want to receive any electronic communications (i.e. email) from the HOA then we can't send any. Snail mail at the association's expense.
IndieS
(Colorado)

Posts:78


05/19/2020 7:52 PM  
KellyM3 - All members receive a USPS mailed notice/agenda of the annual meeting and a USPS mailed copy of the minutes from that meeting, including our financial statement, annual member education, insurance policy information, etc., as required by Colorado law.

We send all members an email of the agenda prior to any Board meeting and then email the Board meeting minutes afterwards. This is permitted under the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act. CCIOA strongly recommends posting the notice and agenda for owner meetings through email. If electronic means are available, the association is required to provide notice of all regular and special meetings of unit owners by electronic mail at least 24 hours before the meeting.

I should have been more specific when describing what I meant by Board communications". Say, for example, the Board is having landscaping work done. Normally, an email is sent to everyone as a "heads up" that mowers or whatever will be in the neighborhood on, say, this coming Thursday.

This member wants all emailed information printed and sent to her, including notices of Board meetings and Board meeting minutes, which we are allowed to send electronically, and reminders, such as the landscaping information, mentioned above.

Thanks for everyone's input, much appreciated.
IndieS
(Colorado)

Posts:78


05/19/2020 7:53 PM  
Sorry _- I meant to address that last response to GeorgeS21.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2681


05/19/2020 8:29 PM  
Indie,

Unless CO statute requires mailing those informal status reports, I would certainly NOT provide them via mail.

Example - I sent out status notes about every 45 days or so ... what the board had been working on, which projects needed owner input, how important volunteering is, road construction, motivational tidbits, congratulations on how great the community looked, etc. These were also posted to our website. There is no way I would agree to provide special handling for one owner.
IndieS
(Colorado)

Posts:78


05/19/2020 8:34 PM  
Thank you George. I appreciate your time and input.
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:288


05/19/2020 8:40 PM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 05/19/2020 8:29 PM
Indie,

Unless CO statute requires mailing those informal status reports, I would certainly NOT provide them via mail.

Example - I sent out status notes about every 45 days or so ... what the board had been working on, which projects needed owner input, how important volunteering is, road construction, motivational tidbits, congratulations on how great the community looked, etc. These were also posted to our website. There is no way I would agree to provide special handling for one owner.





People without email should be able to receive HOA correspondence.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2681


05/19/2020 9:17 PM  
NpB,

Yep - we covered mailing things legally required to be mailed.

As I noted, if it isn’t required by law to be mailed ... then it goes by email, or gets posted to the website.
MarshallT
(New York)

Posts:58


05/21/2020 5:50 AM  
This is an inconvenience, but it is my understanding that you do have to send an owner communications by traditional mail if that is what they have asked for. Were homeowners required to sign a consent form before they started receiving email? If so, she should probably submit a formal document stating that she revokes consent to receive communications through email.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2681


05/21/2020 4:58 PM  
Making this too hard.

Let’s stipulate all required communication by mail is sent by mail.

Non-required communication ... updates on projects, road closures, motivational stuff via email.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9461


05/22/2020 9:12 AM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 05/21/2020 4:58 PM
Making this too hard.

Let’s stipulate all required communication by mail is sent by mail.

Non-required communication ... updates on projects, road closures, motivational stuff via email.




Easy Peezy.
JaredC
(Texas)

Posts:259


05/22/2020 5:29 PM  
Agree with George. Unless required by law it’s electronic.
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