Question: In a recent article, you stated that the Florida Condominium Act requires associations to make records available within 5 working days of a written request. However, I thought that the Association has 10 working days to provide access to the records. Which is correct? (P.G. by e-mail)
Answer: You are referring to my column 7 Year Rule Does Not Apply to All Condo Records.
In that column, I was referring to Section 718.111(12) of the Florida Condominium Act, which requires condominium associations to keep official records for 7 years, with certain exceptions. Additionally, pursuant to Section 718.111(12)(b), Florida Statutes, the official records of the association must be made available to unit owners for their inspection within 5 working days of a written request. However, Section 718.111(12)(c), Florida Statutes provides, in relevant part, as follows: “The failure of an association to provide the records within 10 working days after receipt of a written request creates a rebuttable presumption that the association willfully failed to comply with this paragraph. A unit owner who is denied access to official records is entitled to the actual damages or minimum damages for the association’s willful failure to comply. Minimum damages are $50 per calendar day for up to 10 days, beginning on the 11th working day after receipt of the written request.”
Accordingly, the association is obligated to make records available within 5 working days of receipt of a written request. However, the association is not penalized, and the rebuttal presumption that the association has willfully failed to comply with an owner’s right to inspect records does not arise, if the records are made available within 10 working days.