Should I have to pay for HOA Minutes?
A reader is being asked to pay $100/hour for HOA minutes and other requested financial information.
Q: I live in a townhouse development with a homeowners association (HOA). I’ve requested financial information dating back four years. I was told that there would be a cost to retrieve the records and the rate to be charged was $100/hour.
As a retired financial executive, I know that everything requested should be readily available with just a few keystrokes. I have also requested that monthly financials be posted on the community website. I have to make this request at each meeting and they then post the information.
Also, minutes of the meetings are not posted until after they are approved at the following meeting. The minutes are lacking in some detail, particularly in regard to homeowners’ discussion and questions. Are the directors and management company complying with the disclosure laws for the association information?
A: Your requests to review the financial information and board minutes are a no brainer.
It is strange that an HOA would not have the minutes for board meetings for the last several years readily available. It’s obnoxious to charge you, an owner, to review them. Likewise, you should be able to inspect the books and records for the association without charge.
A well run association should have its financials and minutes readily available for inspection. Many, if not most well-run associations have a website where you can view and download this information as a member of the association.
If the HOA previously sent you the information and you lost it, we’d understand the management’s frustration. We would also understand being charged a small amount for a hard copy of the minutes.
But in this age of electronic documents, we suspect all of the documents you’re looking for are in electronic form and can readily be sent. If you decide you want to print them, you can do that on your dime.
Why Should You Pay for HOA Minutes?
Separately, the statutes in your state may require homeowners associations to provide their members with copies of documents. What does state law say about the required disclosures HOAs have to make to owners? Do your research.
If your state laws include those requirements, you can go back to the HOA and share that tidbit of information. Hopefully, they’ll come to their senses and hand over the information you’re asking for. While they’re at it, they can copy the rest of the homeowners.
We understand that some associations feel overburdened. That certain “troublemaker” homeowners repeatedly ask for the same information. But it isn’t hard to set up a system to allow homeowners to access these documents online without bothering the HOA officers or management company. Even small associations can do, often by including it as part of the monthly maintenance fee.
©2024 by Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency. C1621