you have every right to ask, and to see the books. you also have the right to get copies of documents, however the board or the mgmt. co. has the right to charge you for their time and expenses. in most cases, a hand delivered letter with your signature is just as good as cetrified mail. if their defination of "cretification" means only to certify your signature, then get it notarized.
also, dont make a pest of yourself with respect to frequent or petty requests, "they" can cut you off.
The person who posted is correct. Most documents state the the association records are open for review and most attorneys also recognize that management companies can charge a reasonable fee for things like copies.
I would recommend that you have an idea of what you are looking for. Do you just want to get an overview of the expenses and teh budget? Are you looking at the particular cost of an item?
See if an audit has been done. It may be good to start with a copy of an audit, if one was done.
One of the ways you can serve the community and your own interest at the same time is to offer to be on a finance committee to look at the finances and do somewhat of a "self" audit. This may achieve all of your goals as well.
If you decide to send a certified letter, send it and include what you want to look at. It sounds like you want to look at outgoing checks, not incoming checks. It is best to clarify that.
Also, start with one year. Previous years are often stored and it is time, money and effort to get them from storage.
I recommend to all the Associations that we manage to offer any information the individual is requesting (other than prohibited information)...whether or not they consider the individual a "problem" or "nuisance". If you continually provide access to the information, there is really nothing a person can say, because you will have it documented that you provided access.
All unit owners have the right to access to official records of the Association.
If we see an owner requesting a considerable amount of information, we normally invite the person requesting records into the office in order to inspect the records. During their inspection, they are advised that any document they would like, should be marked with a post it or written down in a log, and will be provided, or they can use the office copier to make copies themselves. Obviously, since we are on the up and up, we encourage transparency.
Then we make copies of the documents as quickly as possible and send them to the individual, usually PDF if they have email access, so they won't have to be charged for copying costs.
I like the above post that you make copies at no charge and you invite a person into the office to look over the records. Condo fees should cover this, and people need to stop charging for information you need. The next time someone ask for my s.s. # I am going to charge them also, LOL. If it were that easy with us. The sec/treasurer seems to get an attitude when you ask her about things and usually blows you off until you get tired of asking. We have not had a meeting in 3 years, things are falling apart, and always answers with "What do you want me to do about it" and per say it is just not me she does this to. I said I will get a lawyer if everyone else chips in, well needless to say they back down then.
I wished the econmy would change so I could sell out. Thanks for your answers, I am going to write to my congressman and see if he helps. She states there is no money to do things with and there are some people behind in fees, could she be one of them? HUM!
In this age of technology is good for the association to have website you can upload everything on the website, have unit owners with a user name and password so every time they want to see something all they have to do is go to the website and pull it from there, this will avoid all this problems
We offer this to all the association that we manage and is a very good tool
We do provide online access as well, but some associations are uncomfortable with their information being out there or simply don't want the added cost, as small as it is.
Plus you can't possibly publish every piece of information online a unit owner might request. I.E., if an owner asks to see a copy of a check, or wants to see deposit tickets....that information wouldn't be available online.
Association fees cover regular operational costs. When there are a lot of copies, those costs increase and there is no real way to immediately recapture those funds. Hence why copying charges come into play.
Association records are open to all members to review and all requests are usually done in writing as required by most master deeds. The purpose of having the request in writing is to document the process. The request to be sent by certified mail is a bit much, but it may be an established policy or part of the master deed.
Our company is a true believer in that financial records should be available on demand at no charge in electronic format. This would include invoices, check registers, financial statements, budgets, and other financial reporting. We have the capability to allow members to have access through the use of software technology. Check with your management company to ask if they do have this available, if not, then what can do create more transparency with no cost or with the least cost to association members.
If a person wishes to actually going through records in person, then there is a per hour charge, and most management companies follow this practice. The reason being is the time to oversee the review of the records. This is to preserve to records from any wrong doing or alterations. Most of the time this charge can be avoided if a board member volunteers there time to oversee the records during review. Also, you will find most, if not all, will charge for copying any record.
The question to ask is, "What is the management company willing to do or the association willing do to create more transparency without creating additional costs to member?" The reason most charges is because it allow them to have an additional stream of revenue during the few times a request is made.
In summary, an association should create a system transparent for financial records. This can be accomplished by posting records to a website or an accounting system that allow for on demand requests.
We have a small association, but believe everyone is entitled to see the financial records. We use google docs to provide the records to everyone because it allows you to share the document while not allowing anyone (without privileges) to make any changes. This way every owner has access 27/7 at no charge and there is no time taken from any board member.
brian, in an obvious drunken stupor (or should lie about it if he ain't in one) spews the following, proving at least he's not borne in cowardice:
"also, dont make a pest of yourself with respect to frequent or petty requests, "they" can cut you off. "
HOLYfriggin'cowturds, ARE YOU SERIOUS??
you done went'n lost yer "condo luvin' rah rah GO TEAM GO pom poms" and said without sayin' ...
"I AM THE WEAKEST LINK"
i'll bet my bottom dollar that they see and LUV you comin' to tha 'tote tha note' car lot. "don't ask no questions, they'll tell ya no lies?"
and ask ONE MORE TIME what kinda gas mileage it gets, ya go ta bed with no supper !
and CHARGE YOU for their TIME AND EXPENSES??? ta do WHAT, pray tell... SHOW YOU WHERE YOU'RE SPENDING YOUR MONEY? (and i thought *i* was a wingnut!! now YOU take tha cake, brian.)
does your waiter at Applebee's charge you to see your itemized bill? do YOU charge your psychiatrist....(oops, that's my arena)... i mean DOCTOR to produce an itemized statement of the expenses you expenses you incurred while waiting til 4 PM for your 11:30 AM appt? (cuz of course he's gonna pay'em) <ahem>
(actually, that'n about earned you a place in my busy schedule to start my couch tour... and that ain't'ah lil slice'ah heaven, or so i'm told.)
now gurlllllllllllll???? (the thread starter) or boyyyyfrandddddd (whichever tha case)... you read them bylaws, bygod.
i guarantee you the condo assn. 'board' has been designated a time frame in which to get you the (this part is important):
~receipts and/or contracts for all services performed. do NOT accept a look at tha books, i can cook books for 92 condo assn. teams with 250+ units per in 24 hours with time left over ta catch up on my aol chatline gossip, get too drunk ta fish and KISS THA SKY ! you wanna do tha comparables with tha companies you're doing wreckless business with (the contractors you had no 'say so' in hiring to do what YOU pay for.)
~the assn.'s bank statements (should be seperate from all their other rip off scheme accounts)showing JUST WHERE THE MONEY WENT ::singin:: that exceeded the budgeted funds.
~an itemized statement as to where those funds went. (it ain't mexico, i'm guessin')
~a viewing of the escrow account for the purpose of avoiding assessments for minor repairs or services.
~a reason why you're paying a legal retainer for the 'lawyer' (HA) that's only purpose would be to file suit against YOU ! you REALLY wanna pay for THEIR litigious action against you? i mean... what's the alternative? they're gonna sue themselves? that's just rude and blatantly... SNOTTY (yeah) if ya ask me.
~a detailed record of management company hours/payroll (hell ,you're payin' for it)
~and anything to prove they not performing according to their own bylaws (cuz there's gonna be a lot)
... and they will NOT be able to provide this information, trusteth me.
then beat their brakes off in court. ya don't even need a lawyer, that'd just complicate the simplicity of the 'bad faith' action which is a notch up from fraud.
(don't attempt class action, no legal eagles'll finance it... plus ya wanna be tha genius in tha crowd) and you'll wear THAT robe'n starry crown, believe you me. just knock on doors, put out flyers, do a consumer advocate piece (hook up with the consumer advocate columnist)in the local paper, and call every television news team in town and tell'm "BOY????, have *I* got NEWS for YOU".
they'll line up.
after the gavel is banged, you'n your neighbors have'ah cookout and watch your property value go DOWNNNN...DOWnnn...Downnnn...down..as ya sip on'ah few PBRs as the condo assn. board is assessed by an UN-ARGUABLE judgment that's gonna pay y'all's notes with buckaroonies ta spare)... or they're gonna sit in federal prison overlooking ONE golf course in america (the arena of choice for OJ to search his wife's killer) and their choice is obvious.
then go run over your own foot as punishment for getting involved with a condo association in the first place as you ask youself what the payoff was for THAT smoothe move...
... then move to wyoming, live in a treehouse and grow t'matahs.
I would really like to know the extent of Belles professional experience with condos.
in response to Joyce's burning question:
"I would really like to know the extent of Belles professional experience with condos."
my answer is quite boring. i have no professional experience with condos, i don't think... unless recouping fraudulently acquired funds makes me a pro.
i simply own a condo.
OH ! and in my world...
...there's "what's right, and then there's everything else."
Bsic rule for retail store detectives: "Honest people are honest because they know someone is watching." The same rule can apply to Condos and HOAs. I believe it is normal for an association to ask for a letter. They may just want to make sure you are serious and not just wasting their time.
i own a con do that is not in compliance with fire codes today but was when it was built. where can i go to get the HOA to fix the problem?