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Maintaining Proper Records Keeping a Digital Paper Trail

It is essential that a community association keep careful records of its financials, rules, and meeting minutes, just to name a few of the kinds of records boards and managers must stay on top of. Not solely because the law often requires it – although of course that’s important – but because an association that fails to maintain a complete, orderly ledger of its business is doomed to repeat past mistakes. This is not to say that every association or building needs to have a cavernous archive on-site – we’re living in a digital era, after all. But knowing who needs to hold on to what information, where, and for how long is a must.

Legal Obligations

While there are certainly broad guiding principles when it comes to record-keeping in a co-op, condo, or community association, specifics can vary based on state laws. We asked a sampling of co-op and condo attorneys from across the country to weigh in on what boards and managers should be doing to make sure their community records are properly kept and secured. While some of the requirements discussed may not be strictly required in your state, they may be worth considering adopting to help your building or HOA run more smoothly. 

Jack Facey, partner with Facey Goss & McPhee P.C. in Rutland, Vermont

“Vermont has adopted much of the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act – and specifically has adopted the sections relating to the keeping of association records. Sections 3 through 118 deal with the records of the association which must be kept. The provisions were made applicable to pre-1999 condominiums, so all associations in Vermont – no matter when they were formed – must comply with the requirements of 3 through 118.

“Perhaps more important to condominium owners is that there is now a provision that all records –  both required to be retained by an association or otherwise kept by the association – must be available for examination and copying by a unit owner or the owner’s authorized agent during reasonable business hours, or at a mutually convenient time and location after five days’ notice. The statute provides for the association to charge a reasonable fee.

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Comments

  • forgetting the legal requirement which may or may not be there in each state, to send the minutes each month to the unit owners, wouldn't it make sense for a board and its property manager to do this to promote interaction, transparency, and increase involvement by the unit owners? If they don't, all that crates is a question by the unit owners; "Why not?", "what is going on that you don't want us to see?". With email there is no cost involved and of course, sensitive information is redacted but, specific discussions should be made public.