Have you lost your copy of the Association bylaws? Would you like to read minutes from past board meetings? Would you like to read a resolution for background information on a homeowners association policy?
Some of these documents can be found on your Association website. However, these and other Association documents are available to all members for review. Homeowners have the right to inspect them, and the homeowners association is happy to make them available. However, the board should ask that homeowners follow a few standard procedures so things go more efficiently.
1. Written Request
First, homeowners should submit a written request to the president or manager stating which documents they wish to read. The request should be submitted several days before the documents are needed. Extra time may be needed to locate older documents if they’re in storage.
2. Be specific
Before submitting a request, homeowners should have a clear understanding of what they are looking for and why. A request for “documents relating to the capital improvement project” is too broad. Instead, request “vendor contract and blueprints for the capital improvement project undertaken last year.”
3. Time frame
The request will be filled as soon as possible, usually within five business days. The homeowners requesting the documents will be contacted to set up a time during normal business hours when the documents may be viewed.
Original documents can be viewed at no charge. If a homeowner would like copies of pages from the original documents, they should make a list or mark the desired pages with a paper clip or sticky note. They will be charged per page for copying. They may also have copies of documents mailed to them and will be billed per page for copying and mailing.
Some Association records are confidential. Requests for sensitive information, such as personnel files, owners’ ledgers or legal files, will be denied. This protects the homeowners association and homeowners from liability. The exception is when a homeowner is requesting documents about themselves.
5. Respect the documents
While viewing original documents, do not remove anything and keep pages in the same order as presented. Any questions or further information needed should be directed to the manager or sent by e-mail to the homeowners association.
Homeowners have a right to view Association documents and should do so whenever they are unsure of an issue or policy in the Association. The documents and the processes are there to help!