Community associations often have voluminous records. Owners, who are members of the association, have a right to inspect and review those records. Financial records, meeting minutes, and governing documents are some of the items which constitute official “association records.” For a more detailed list of association records, visit here. There are some records, however, which owners are not entitled to review or inspect. Some of those records include:
1. Contracts, leases or business transactions currently under negotiation;
2. Documents or correspondence protected by attorney-client privilege;
3. Records created for consideration in executive session; and
4. Documents or records subject to confidentiality agreements.
Most other records, however, must be available for owner review and inspection. Under state statute the association is authorized to charge reasonable copy costs or administrative costs. For Washington homeowner associations, the law provides:
All records of the association, including the names and addresses of owners and other occupants of the lots, shall be available for examination by all owners, holders of mortgages on the lots, and their respective authorized agents on reasonable advance notice during normal working hours at the offices of the association or its managing agent. The association shall not release the unlisted telephone number of any owner. The association may impose and collect a reasonable charge for copies and any reasonable costs incurred by the association in providing access to records. (64.38.045)
Oregon homeowner associations are governed by a similar statute, which also imposes a 10 day timeline:
(11) The association, within 10 business days after receipt of a written request by an owner, shall furnish the requested information required to be maintained under subsection (10) of this section.
(12) The board of directors, by resolution, may adopt reasonable rules governing the frequency, time, location, notice and manner of examination and duplication of association records and the imposition of a reasonable fee for furnishing copies of any documents, information or records described in this section. The fee may include reasonable personnel costs for furnishing the documents, information or records. (ORS 94.670)
Associations should timely respond to all reasonable records requests from owners (and in some cases mortgagees). The board should adopt a record inspection policy or resolution explaining when and how records may be requested, a list of any records which are not subject to inspection, and a schedule of costs or fees for inspection or duplication of records. Here is a sample records inspection form that may be used and tailored for your association: Sample Records Request Form