Appellate Ruling and New Florida Laws Stress Open Records in Community Associations

The ruling was issued by Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal in a lawsuit filed by owners against their homeowners’ association, the Wayside Estates Homeowners Association located near Orlando in Sanford. The suit, which was brought by owners and association members William Pecchia and Kathleen Porter, stemmed from a formal request they issued to the […]

Thou Shall Timely—and Completely—Respond to Records Requests: Fifth District Court of Appeal Cracks Down on HOA Obligation to Produce Official Records to Owners

At some point, every community association—whether it be an HOA, condominium, or co-op—has encountered a records inspection request and understands how time consuming they may be depending upon the scope of the request. A new case issued by the Fifth District Court of Appeal (or the “5th DCA”) solidifies the importance of an owner’s right […]

The Documents You Should Retain in Anticipation of 558 Litigation (FL)

Florida law provides condominium associations with a robust framework to recover damages from the developer and contractors for issues related to defective construction. Chapter 558, also known as Florida’s Construction Defect Statute, aims to encourage settlement of construction-related claims without resorting to litigation. However, litigation is sometimes unavoidable. Outlined herein are some of the essential […]

Violation Notices Part of Official Records (FL)

Q: Does a member of a homeowners’ association have the right to review a list of properties that have violated the HOA rules, such as landscape plants that are not permitted or exterior house paint colors not approved?   Read the article…………………………….

The Art of Taking Meeting Minutes

Taking good meeting minutes is a bit of an art form; on the one hand, minutes should be brief (hence the term “minutes”), but on the other hand minutes need to contain enough information to accurately report all actions that took place during the meeting. So, what is the secret to taking good meeting minutes?  […]

South Carolina Homeowners’ Association Act – Executive Privilege – Accounting Records – Corporate Records – Amendment to Agreement – Bylaw

Resident was entitled to inspect Gate Pass Agreement and any amendments under the South Carolina Homeowners’ Association Act because they were bylaws as defined by the Act.  We affirmed.  Nonprofit corporation Community Services Associates, Inc. (CSA), appealed the circuit court’s order granting the motion of Dana Advocaat, a resident of Sea Pines Plantation on Hilton […]

Condo Records and the New Checklist Law (FL)

Suppose you ask for access to certain condominium records, they are never given to you, but months later the association says they were? What do you do now?  Well, for condominiums only The Florida Legislature attempts to address this issue in House Bill 1021 which goes into effect July 1st    Read the article…………………………….

Importance of HOA Minutes

Homeowner associations should keep good historical records, because to know where one is going it’s necessary to know where one has been. Some of those crucial records are the minutes kept at Board, Special, Committee and Annual Meetings. Minutes document decisions made during a meeting and provide a public record of actions taken.    Read the […]

Legislature Adds Teeth to Florida’s Community Association Fraud Laws

The article focuses on two bills to strengthen criminal penalties for association fraud and malfeasance that have been passed by the Florida Legislature with unanimous votes in both chambers. His article reads:. . . Both bills impose the exact same strict criminal penalties for a number of violations. They make it a first-degree misdemeanor to […]

Arizona: The Ultimate HOA Records Retention Guide: What You Need to Know

HOA records retention is not just a procedural formality; it’s essential for effective association management. It’s the cornerstone for continuity, aiding decision-making, and assists in navigating legal processes. Every HOA board member knows the importance of maintaining organized and accessible documents—from board minutes to financial records. What’s more, categorizing these essential records, such as tax […]

When Law Enforcement Wants the Association’s Records (FL)

An HOA here in South Florida recently fought the State Attorney’s Office tooth and nail when they attempted to obtain copies of the association’s official records. There’s no doubt that as a result of that one HOA, the following law was passed:   Read the article…………………………….

Association Wants to Go ‘Paperless (FL)

Q: Our condominium association wants to go “paperless” as much as possible for our meetings and move to “virtual” meetings both for convenience and cost savings. Do you have any guidelines on what this involves?   Read the Q&A………………………………

Corporate Transparency Act – Action Required in 2024-2025 (FL)

We are writing to inform you that the Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”) will become effective on January 1, 2024, for all new entities (as defined below) filed on or after the beginning of next year and will become effective on January 1, 2025, for all currently existing entities, (with entities being defined as any entity […]

How Long Do I Have to Keep Association Records? (CO)

Did you know that both CCIOA and the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act, provide retention timeframes for certain records? For example, did you know that the Nonprofit Act requires associations to keep the following records permanently:     Read the article……………………………..

Client Alert – Corporate Transparency Act

Millions of entities across the United States must get ready to comply with the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), a new federal law that goes into effect on January 1, 2024. Subject to a few limited exceptions, the CTA requires all new and currently existing entities to file reports with the federal government, identifying information about […]

Meeting Minutes and the Role of the Secretary

The role of a secretary in a condo association is an important one, as they play a key part in the administrative and record-keeping aspects of the organization. In this article, we are going to focus on Meeting Minutes. Taking minutes at a condo board meeting is an important responsibility that helps document decisions and […]

Boca condo board loses federal records suit, sanctioned for ‘frivolous’ claims (FL)

The Boca View Condominium Association has lost another court battle in its long-running fight to prevent a unit owner from exercising her right to inspect its financial records.  On Tuesday, a federal judge in West Palm Beach dismissed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a 2010 Florida law that prohibits condo and homeowner associations […]

Responding to a Records Request (AZ)

Pursuant to Arizona law (Planned Communities Act A.R.S. Section 33-1805 and Condominium Act A.R.S. Section 33-1258), community associations are required to make all financial and other records of the association reasonably available for examination by a member or a member’s designated representative. Records requests are frequently made in connection with a dispute with an owner, […]

What to Know About the New Corporate Transparency Act (IL)

As we enter the autumn season and approach 2024, condominium associations across the United States are readying themselves for significant change in legislation that is likely to enhance corporate transparency and combat illegal activities, such as money laundering and various other illicit activities. This comprehensive law, the Corporate Transparency Act, or the “CTA”    Read the […]

Why Your Board Should List All Damages Following a Hurricane

In the aftermath of a hurricane, community associations face numerous challenges, including assessing and documenting the damages caused by the storm. While the immediate focus is often on cleanup and recovery, it is crucial for association boards to prioritize the comprehensive listing of all damages incurred. This blog post aims to highlight the importance of […]

Approving and Signing Association Contracts (OH)

Associations act through their boards of directors. This means that, for an association to take any action, the board of directors must collectively vote to approve that action. As it relates to contracts, boards of directors should vote to approve contracts and document all votes approving contracts in the association’s minutes. The minutes should read […]

“Don’t Panic” — The HOA’s Guide to the Galaxy…of Records Inspection (CO)

Responding to record requests can sometimes be a daunting task. With CCIOA’s detailed list of “records of the association” that Colorado common interest communities are required permit requesting owners to inspect, combined with requesting owners’ increasing tendency to submit broad records requests, here are a few tips to help you get through this process as […]

Sharing Community Financials

As a community association board member or manager, you are ultimately responsible for managing the finances of a business – your community. The association members are all stakeholders in that business, so sharing financial information with them is essential to building and maintaining trust and credibility.   Read the article………………………..

Privacy and Privileged Documents in Washington State Homeowners’ Associations and Condominium Associations

Members of Washington’s homeowners’ associations and condominium associations have the right to access and review the records maintained by their association. However, there are certain limitations on this right, and it is important to keep that in mind when making any requests to your association for access to these records. First let us discuss the […]

HOAs Inadvertently Caught in Federal Crossfire: Ten Things You Need to Know About Community Associations and the Corporate Transparency Act

It’s easy to forget that community associations are corporations—and yet, today most community associations are incorporated. Community associations are subject to their state’s corporate statutes; but soon, they will be subject to the federal Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”) too.  Read the article………………………..

Records Retention & Records Retention Policies

Recently, a question came up on a national nonprofit list serve about how long various documents should be kept by an association, such as board meeting materials. Here was my response.  “Your question has both legal and political aspects. Since I don’t practice law in your state, I can’t say what specific language or practice […]

Requesting condo/HOA documents

Residential communities have a legal obligation to retain records pertaining to condo/HOA business. That includes things like governing documents, maintenance records, insurance records, architectural plans and annual budgets. When you stop to think about how much information a community accumulates in a single year, you quickly realize why it’s better to have a digital archive […]

Denial of contract inspection difficult to defend (MI)

Q: I am one of the directors in our condominium association. One of our residents has requested a copy of the contract with our landscaping provider. We realize that contract negotiations are held in closed executive session, but does the resulting executed contract remain confidential and not available to our residents as some of our […]

Best Practices for Board Meeting Minutes (NC)

A question came up during a recent online discussion about “best practices” for board meeting minutes. The answer to questions of what should (or should not) be included in minutes is more complicated than it seems.   Read the article………………………..

How to Handle Records Requests by Owners (AZ)

When an owner or member makes a records request it is important to act quickly. Once an owner or member makes a records request, Arizona law requires that all financial and other records of an association must be made reasonably available for examination by any owner or member within 10 business days from the date […]

Condominium and Cooperative – Required Building Reporting (FL)

Fla. Stat. §718.501(3)(a) and Fla. Stat. §719.501(3)(a) require all condominium and cooperative associations existing on or before July 1, 2022, to provide the following information Department of Business & Professional Regulation, Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes (“DBPR”):  Read the article………………………..