Community association leaders and managers should become aware of changes to record inspection obligations now that SB 1196 has been signed into law.
Roster List (Condo):
The roster list is an important document. Telephone numbers have traditionally been included in the roster list, despite objections over the years. The roster list also includes email addresses of the members if they have consented (or requested) to receive notices and other association information by email. SB 1196 says that the email addresses and telephone numbers of the members must be removed from the association’s records if the owner revokes consent to receive notice by electronic transmission. Please discuss modifications to the roster or creating a procedure for owner consent to include this information with association counsel, as many owners have come to rely upon the roster or directory to remain in contact with friends and neighbors.
Civil Penalties (Condo):
Last year the act was amended to authorize civil penalties against anyone (individuals – i.e. board members, manager, etc.) that knowingly or intentionally defaced or destroyed accounting records. It also authorized civil penalties for knowingly or intentionally failing to create or maintain the accounting records. SB 1196 now limits the civil penalties to the time period the records are required to be maintained. Penalties are likewise not appropriate for failing to create or maintain these records unless there is a finding of intent to harm the association or one or more of its members.
Misuse of Information (Condo):
We know the association cannot publish debtor lists or use the delinquency records to embarrass or harass its members, but the board (or management) has little to no control over what happens to records once they are in the possession of a unit owner. SB 1196 says the association is not responsible for misuse of records properly obtained in connection with an owner’s rights to inspect and copy.
Personnel Records (Condo & HOA):
Personnel records for association employees such as payroll, disciplinary actions, health and insurance records are no longer accessible to members. I know a few managers that are happy with this change.
Owner Information (Condo & HOA):
Private information such as email addresses, telephone numbers, emergency contact information, social security numbers, driver’s license and credit card numbers of the owners are not accessible to members.
Condo and HOA owners are not entitled to obtain the association’s passwords, electronic security records, software or operating systems that manipulate data.
In HOAs the presumption that the association willfully failed to make records available if the records were not available within 10 business days only arises if the request was sent via certified mail, return receipt requested.
Inspection Costs (HOA):
If the association does not have a copy machine at the record site, or the owner requests more than 25 pages of records, copies may be made by an outside vendor or management company personnel – in that case the association may charge for the actual costs of the copies and hourly charges for vendor or employee time to cover the administrative costs to the vendor or the association.
You may need to change your association’s record retention and/or inspection policies in light of these changes.