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Inspection of Record

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RIGHT TO INSPECT RECORDS

Q. 
As the owner of a property management company, I often receive requests from members of homeowner associations to inspect association records. What are a member’s rights concerning the inspection of association records?

A. 
Under California law, a member's inspection rights are extensive. First, the member must make a written demand which must state the purpose of the request. The demand must be "reasonably related to the person’s interest as a member" and the demand must be specific. It may not be a request for a "fishing trip."

Absent a subpoena, a member’s inspection rights include but are not limited to:

(1)     Minutes of the board and committees except for executive session minutes which are confidential.

(2)     Accounting books and records. This has generally been interpreted to mean monthly financial statements, audits, accounting reviews, copies of checks, invoices and contracts with vendors and contractors.

(3)     List of members' names and addresses and voting rights. This does not include the names of children or phone numbers.

Unless the association provides a "reasonable alternative," a member may inspect and copy the list within five days of request, or the board may provide the member with a copy within ten days of the request subject to payment of the reasonable cost of reproduction.

Legal invoices, legal correspondence, records of disciplinary actions, collection activities and personal records are considered confidential and may not be inspected.  Top


RIGHT TO INSPECT RECORDS

Q. 
Do members of the HOA have the right to inspect correspondence between the board and the association’s attorney?

A. 
No. It is absolutely privileged. Top


FINANCIAL STATEMENT REQUESTED

Q. 
I own a townhome in Santa Monica, but am not on the board of directors. While attending a recent board meeting, I asked our management company representative for a current financial statement. My request was denied and I was told that I am only entitled to a year-end report. Is this correct?

A. 
No. California law requires a board of directors to provide every member with a year-end financial report but it does not preclude you from receiving interim reports. You are entitled to a monthly report, less the member delinquency report, but will be required to pay the cost of duplication. You are also permitted to inspect association records for any association related purpose.  Top







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