Does your HOA prevent you from seeing official records?
If your homeowners,’ condo, or co-op association (either the board or the manager) has denied allowing you to have access to official records, what explanations or excuses did they make to keep them a secret?
12 thoughts on “Does your HOA prevent you from seeing official records?”
Although I was permitted technically to view the HOA records, some records were noticeably missing and many records were misfiled. When asked were the missing records were, was informed no records were missing. For example, records for violations of board members were not to be found. Suspicious? Definitely.
Our HOA does not always provide the information and access required under NY state law despite its policy that all document requests must be in writing and notarized. It argues that the law allows it a reasonable time to prepare annual financial statements, and a period longer than a year is reasonable. Yet the same HOA has no problem disclosing emails with personally identifiable information as “evidence” to support fines against its members. In fact, this seems to be the only way to get rules enforced now. The issues started after the HOA contracted with a new management company. The company says the only way it can address a simple parking violation is if it has a written complaint that is signed by another homeowner and includes a date-stamped photo of the vehicle involved in the violation. (The prior firm used to go out and inspect the violation and provide its own photo, if necessary.) But now the complaint/evidence is sent to the company’s email address and stored electronically on its email server. It is a huge company with thousands of employees and franchisees, and the company refuses to provide a non-disclosure agreement to the members of the HOA with regard to any complaints – or any personally identifiable information. Personally, I wish NY state would enact enforceable privacy laws that apply to HOAs, as well as enforceable laws about reporting requirements and access to financial books and records.
Our HOA has a rule that all cars must be in garage at night. When I observed one board member parking two cars outside his garage every night I asked for a list of HOA members who had received permission to violate this rule. I was told by the president of our HOA that she could not provide me with that information! Once again it seems strict rules are only for those with no clout!
If ours reply at all, the replies match those cited by Michael Novak above. On topics that might reveal corruption, our general manager simply calls our (armed) guards to lead the residents away. This has happened to a five women who learned too much, making the General manager uneasy.
I have asked for the aggregate number of units behind on hoa monthly assessments and also by individual units without identifying information. The hoa president told me at various times that they do not have that information, it is illegal to give that information, and I would have to pay $180 an hour for the hoa lawyer to prepare that report. The financials show more than 11% of the assessment budget not paid.
They didn’t respond. If they did, they’d give no reason or say it’s not an official record of the Association or say the record sought has not yet been approved by the board of directors. With respect to interim proxy tabulations by a CPA, they’d say because the proxy tabulation is not yet finalized. All are unacceptable responses in the state of Illinois.
On rare occasions they’d state no proper purpose was stated but the city does not require a statement of proper purpose. Now the state also doesn’t require a statement of proper purpose.
My HOA has been hijacked with new people with their own agenda.
At my request the Insurance Broker attended as a guest speaker. He mentioned a resolution signed in 2009 which included interior to ‘builder grade’ association paid coverage with a claim. Despite having served on the board I’d never seen or heard that prior so I asked for a copy as I am now just a member. I was sent a resolution for the $5k deductible which I’d never seen before either. When I asked again the manager and her supervisor said there was no such resolution to be found. Yet, no one on the board denied it’s existence when it was mentioned in an open meeting. Makes me wonder ‘what else’ is not made available even to board members new to the community such as myself.
Absolutely they withhold records, with excuses like “it’s HIPPA violation” (really, the health care law prevents community records from releasing emails). Worse, the community manager manipulates emails. Ie: When asked if there is an email regarding a CC&R violation by a BofD who parks trucks on their front yard, the community managers creates an email and back dates it … there is no State Statute in my state that says CM’s must be honest. Community Managers also change records … ie when asked about a vendor who didn’t provide receipts, one email I rec’d said something like “the vendor works for cost and refused to provide receipts” (duh, since when does a vendor dictate good accounting practices?)… but he is a friend of the board and former board President. Then when the property manager provides more details about requested docs, lo and behold that statement is changed to “I have a records” or similar. Threads of emails are provided incomplete. Never ever think that the financial records are the most important. The details are in the emails. It’s where I find the secret meetings … Emails contain wording like “the board voted to do XXX”. Property Managers and Board members are liars. It’s a shame that the BofD’s that are mere seat warmers buy in to this corruption and go along with it.
I recently asked for association “records” as mandated by the Chicago Condo Ordinance. Their attorney Diane Silverberg responded: “From a substantive vantage point, your request does not fall into any of the designated categories of documents that an Association is required to make available to unit owners, nor does it fall into the catchall provision regarding ‘books and records for the association’s current and 10 immediately preceding fiscal years, including but not limited to itemized and detailed records of all receipts, expenditures, and accounts.’ Accordingly, the Association declines to produce the records to you.”
Ya can’t make that up.
Declarant has not turned over any part of the HOA after 10 years and has just one unit unsold. No meeting. reluctant updates. management company changes. Declarant still populates the Board of Directors and changes board members to not keep prior promises.
they say their software cant do that
Comments are closed.