M.O. from Cook County, Illinois writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
One of the owners in our building took a copy of our financial statements to 2 other buildings. The first building is self-managed and the 3rd has a different management company. Is this legal? I would think that our financial statements are private.
Mister Condo replies:
M.O., I am sorry that you have an uncomfortable situation on your hands. You didn’t mention why the owner shared the financial statements but I assume that they are disgruntled over an expense and is trying to see what the neighboring associations are paying for the same items(s). I am not an attorney and offer no legal opinions here. Unless there is something in your governing documents that prohibits an owner from sharing any association record, I don’t think there is anything illegal here. The information contained on the financial statement is a record of the corporation. While they typically aren’t broadcasted to the world, there isn’t anything in there too terribly private in most cases. However, I would say it is bad form for a homeowner to use his information for any malfeasance or personal gain. You didn’t state that was the case here, just that the information was shared with a very small audience. If the association was harmed in any way, it might be worth a quick call to the association attorney to see if there is a way to have this homeowner “cease and desist”. Other than that, it might make sense for the Board to understand why this homeowner shared the information. If he/she has a legitimate financial concern, it would be good to know what that concern is. All the best!