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Wednesday, October 27, 2021











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Subject: Contracts
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Author Messages
DonnaR5
(Virginia)

Posts:138


10/04/2021 1:23 PM  
Should the association's contracts be publicly available to the members of the association? If so, how? On a secure part of the association's website? In person viewing only, in the management company's offices?
HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:80


10/04/2021 1:26 PM  
While we do not have to sign non disclosure agreements to receive contracts from vendors, I consider this to be more sensitive documents. We do not make them available publically or on our secure portal. A homeowner could request them but we have not had any homeowner requests for records in the 2 years that I have been on the board.
MichaelS56
(Minnesota)

Posts:279


10/04/2021 1:43 PM  
WE do not put contracts on the Association website, but if an owner would like to see a contract they are quickly made available. WE have a list of vendors on our website that wee use during the year.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11539


10/04/2021 2:04 PM  
We will send any owner an Email copy of any contract but they must request such.
AugustinD


Posts:1695


10/04/2021 2:45 PM  
Condominium or non-condominium?

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17785


10/04/2021 2:48 PM  
Posted By DonnaR5 on 10/04/2021 1:23 PM
Should the association's contracts be publicly available to the members of the association? If so, how? On a secure part of the association's website? In person viewing only, in the management company's offices?




Donna,

As you know, per VA statute, members may review signed contracts.
This does not mean that they need to be published on a website.

I suspect that contractors may have even have an issue if the website isn't secure.

In my Association, we never put them on a website.
We would provide them if asked by a member.

Tim
AugustinD


Posts:1695


10/04/2021 2:54 PM  
Posted By DonnaR5 on 10/04/2021 1:23 PM
Should the association's contracts be publicly available to the members of the association? If so, how? On a secure part of the association's website? In person viewing only, in the management company's offices?


Virginia Condo Act:
C. Books and records kept by or on behalf of a unit owners' association may be withheld from examination or copying by unit owners and contract purchasers to the extent that they are drafts not yet incorporated into the books and records of the unit owners' association or if such books and records concern:
...

2. Contracts, leases, and other commercial transactions to purchase or provide goods or services, currently in or under negotiation;


See https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title55.1/chapter19/


Virginia HOA statute:
C. Books and records kept by or on behalf of an association may be withheld from inspection and copying to the extent that they concern:

...

2. Contracts, leases, and other commercial transactions to purchase or provide goods or services, currently in or under negotiation;


See https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacodepopularnames/property-owners-association-act/

Executed contracts appear to me to be a record that the HOA should allow members to inspect. I advise waiting for an owner to make a request for the contract. I advise against putting the contract on the web site.

Vendors are not wild about their contracts being shared willy-nilly. It can give their competitors an advantage. In some cities, and for liability reasons, the viewing of city contracts is subject to strict rules when it comes to sharing them with the public under state sunshine laws. (Said state sunshine laws rarely, if ever, apply to HOAs/COas. Instead the nonprofit corporation statute and HOA/COA statutes offer some sunshine.)

DonnaR5
(Virginia)

Posts:138


10/05/2021 6:58 AM  
If I read this correctly, then the only time the HOA can withhold a contract from being reviewed by a member is before it is accepted and signed by the HOA. Once it is a legal contract between HOA and vendor, then it should be given to any homeowner who requests it.

I assume, then, that other associations do not make it a requirement that the contracts can only be viewed in the management company's office? It seems unreasonable.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17785


10/05/2021 9:08 AM  
Posted By DonnaR5 on 10/05/2021 6:58 AM
If I read this correctly, then the only time the HOA can withhold a contract from being reviewed by a member is before it is accepted and signed by the HOA. Once it is a legal contract between HOA and vendor, then it should be given to any homeowner who requests it.






Partially Correct.

The Association must make a signed contract available for review (not provide copies).


Posted By DonnaR5 on 10/05/2021 6:58 AM

I assume, then, that other associations do not make it a requirement that the contracts can only be viewed in the management company's office? It seems unreasonable.




This review typically takes place where the records are being kept.
If the records are being kept at the MC office, then it is reasonable that a member must make arrangements to review them there.
AdamL1
(Idaho)

Posts:117


10/05/2021 9:22 AM  
What to do if the board and the PMC are refusing to provide contracts to review to members that are requesting?
DonnaR5
(Virginia)

Posts:138


10/05/2021 10:20 AM  
Ditto. We had a member who wanted to review the HOA's contracts and I put him in touch with the management company. This was 2 years ago. He recently told me that they made things so difficult that he never got an appointment to see them.

I would much prefer to just send a copy to the member who requests to see it, especially after this experience. Is there any reason a board member can't do that?
DonnaR5
(Virginia)

Posts:138


10/05/2021 10:23 AM  
BTW, the offices of our management company are 30-40 minutes from our community. Add to that that a person would have to go during business hours, and you've created a substantial obstacle right there for a person with a daytime job, i.e., most of us.
MaxB4


Posts:1394


10/05/2021 10:26 AM  
The PMC represents the association, and the board as its governing body. Too many boards have no clue as to how an PMC runs their business on your behalf. The board should set policy on how records are distributed to owners upon reasonable request.
DonnaR5
(Virginia)

Posts:138


10/05/2021 10:30 AM  
Yes, it is entirely too easy to NOT see some aspects of the management company's operations. It can be because you don't know to ask (as with the homeowner who didn't let us know that the MC wasn't being cooperative), or because the MC doesn't want you to know.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11539


10/05/2021 12:28 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 10/05/2021 10:26 AM
The PMC represents the association, and the board as its governing body. Too many boards have no clue as to how an PMC runs their business on your behalf. The board should set policy on how records are distributed to owners upon reasonable request.



I agree.
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