L.L. from Massachusetts writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
How long should I wait to view my condominiums financial records? I requested to see them 6 business days ago.
Mister Condo replies:
L.L., as a unit owner you have the right to inspect just about all of your association’s records, including the financial records. Typically, the records need to be available during normal business hours or within a “reasonable” time. That is where the real answer to your question lies. What you consider “reasonable” and what the keeper of your records considers “reasonable” may vary so the key is likely for you to remain vigilant but patient. If the record keeper fails to provide you with access, your recourse is to sue. I am not an attorney nor do I offer any legal advice in this column. My friendly advice is to ask again and ask what the association considers as a “reasonable” amount of time to honor the request. My guess is you’ll get access to the records when the other party is available to accommodate your request. Keep in mind the records are owned by the association. If you wish photocopies, you may be charged for the service as well as a small fee for the employee’s time for assisting you. Good luck!
4 thoughts on “What is a “Reasonable” Amount of Time for A Condo Record Request Inspection?”
Six days? I have been waiting since December of 2015. Requested all signed copies of contracts, minutes, financials and the APPROVED Budget from the April 2016 Annual meeting which included a $3 HOA increase. Filed a complaint with the State and even paid an Attorney who also told the Association that under CT General Statutes I am entitled to this information. To date I still have received nothing. The Proposed budget that was presented to the Association at April of 2016’s Annual Board Meeting was never voted on and approved by the Association. This Board has been collecting that $3 increase illegally since May of 2016 and those monies should be returned to Unit Owners – with interest. Why is there no one at the State level that oversees these Board of Directors?? The President also signed a contract with a new Property Manager who hadn’t held a valid CAM license since January 31, 2015! Yes, 2015- 19 months with NO valid license to do any business as a Property Manager. He was fined by the State, and got his license reinstated on September 26, 2016. Totally irresponsible of this Board- and no apology to Unit Owners. Icing on the cake was finding out this Board never paid attention to any of the financials- and this Property Manager didn’t pay the electric bill – for SIX months. All the Unit Owners became aware of this only when United Illuminating showed up on the Property and shut the power off.
D.S., thanks for sharing this horror story. Your association is fortunate to have you keeping an eye on the money and the licensing of the manager of the association’s assets. Unfortunately, in the state of Connecticut, there is no requirement that Boards do a good job of running their associations. They are not required to get training and most do not. The good thing is that they are democratically elected. If they aren’t getting the job done, unit owners can vote them out. Hopefully, more concerned and informed unit owners like you will run for the Board when they time comes for next year’s elections. All the best!
Tennessee Condominium Laws:
66-27-113. Administrator’s books — Examination by co-owners.
(a) The administrator, or the board of administration, or another form of administration specified in the bylaws, shall keep a book with a detailed account, in chronological order, of the receipts and expenditures affecting the building and its administration and specifying the maintenance and repair expenses of the common elements and any other expenses incurred.
(b) Both the book and the vouchers accrediting the entries made thereupon shall be available for examination by all the co-owners at convenient hours on working days that shall be set and announced for general knowledge.
HISTORY: Acts 1963, ch. 124, § 13; T.C.A., § 64-2713. 66-27-114. Expenses prorated — No exemptions.
(a) The co-owners of the apartments are bound to contribute pro rata toward the expenses of administration and of maintenance and repair of the general common elements, and, in the proper case, of the limited common elements, of the building, and toward any other expense lawfully agreed
(b) No co-owner may be exempted from contributing toward the expenses in subsection (a) by a waiver of the use or enjoyment of the common elements or by the abandonment of the apartment belonging to that co-owner or by any other means.
J., thanks for sharing the Tennessee laws. This question came from Massachusetts, which has its own laws for community associations and condominiums. These laws vary from state to state.