Disseminating Information Proper Access to Records and Documents

There's a lot of paperwork that's involved in running a co-op or condo building - everything from financial records to legal documents, shareholder correspondence and management statements from board meetings - and it's important that the documents are available to the board and shareholders when needed. While it's up to the managing agent to keep this material organized and secure, sometimes copies of the paperwork can also be found in the co-op office itself.

Because co-op and condo boards mostly have good relationships with their managing agents, information usually flows easily between them, and getting the proper paperwork to anyone who needs it isn't a big deal. Since board members and shareholders are both entitled to view certain documents, it's up to the management company to get the proper information to them in a timely and organized manner. Because the system works so well most of the time, most co-ops and condos don't feel the need to keep copies of the records on their premises.

"I feel that copies of sales packages, leases on any income producing space, and of course financial records should always be kept at the management office," says Sam Irlander, president of Parker Madison Partners, Inc., a management company based in Manhattan. "But I've also always recommended that our properties keep hard copies in a room somewhere on their premises. That's to protect against disorder should the building change agents."

But since there isn't always an assigned space for such documentation at a co-op or condo office, and people don't usually want to be bothered with keeping such paperwork in order, having documents and paperwork on the premises isn't that important.

"It depends on how sophisticated the people are - but then you are assuming there even is an office on the premises," says Abbey F. Goldstein of Goldstein & Greenlaw LLP, a law firm in Kew Gardens, Queens. "People who are businessmen and used to dealing with records are much more likely to want to have their own set of records kept [at the building]. I would have to say that the vast majority - other than minutes, maybe some significant invoices, or most of the key records - are not duplicated and are kept [at the management office]."

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9 Comments

  • what law protects my personal financal info from a board member who uses it to help his position and discloses my info to others?
  • what are the guide for replacing management
  • What are the guidelines for sharing cond board financial status / balances, plans, etc. in public - as a condo owner - should i be able to see the financial status of the building, any inspection items, etc.? or do you have to trust your board on these issues. Do they have a responsibility to publish a statement (like an annual repor)?
  • I own a co-op unit in Jackson Height and recently I asked to get a copy of the building Insurance policy. The board's management told me that they will only give me this info out when a owner is buying/selling or refinacning, of which I am doing none. Am I entitled to this information? If you do not know, do you know where I can find answers to my rights? Thank-you;
  • I am a condo owner in Jackson Hts. (Goldstein was my original lawyer). I wanted to see a copy of the minutes from the latest open meeting and was told it would not be available for "a year", just before the next open meeting. Is this true?
  • We have a new board director who is requesting that the managing agent send her copies of all tenant files, unused stock certificates and historical share information from when our building was managed by another agent. The previous agent did not provide us with complete documentation and while we attempted to get it through legal letters, we were unsuccessful. My question is does she have the right to demand all this information be sent to her? In particular, the sharholder information contains ss#'s which I thin would be a violation of privacy.
  • Active Adult condo owner on Friday, April 27, 2012 11:35 PM
    Our records are kept at the Mgmt. office which is located about 80 miles from our condo location. Some residents wish to periodically see the records to see specific details of how our money is being spent etc but, as senior citizens feel it's unfair to be made to travel 160 miles, besides cost of fuel, to do so, They have requested this information be duplicated (hard copies or disc) and kept on the condo premises. Is this a fair request and can the condo B.O.D. be required to comply?
  • Recently the Board of Directors made a special resolution to stop processing both recovery statements and repayments to residents. In the future, surpluses will be entered into The Contingency Reserve Fund and all deficits will roll over into the next year’s budget , I am for this, but would like to see the resolution. Do I have the right to request to read the resolution?
  • How can we fight the management, lawyer and a special group of cooperator who every year fight hard to stay in power? They stay in power with the help of the manager and the attorney who help control the board elections.