What Does It Take For An Owner To See HOA or Condo Association Records?

What happens when owners want to see membership records, or get a membership list? They are entitled to be able to communicate with other members. If they cannot get the mailing list, at least the board needs to make arrangements for them to be able to send something related to their ownership or about the association, or a candidate statement or other information out to other members, at their expense. There are certain communications that are an exception, but that is for another blog (all of this is fully explained in the Records Inspection Primer in the webstore at www.californiacondo.com by the way).
Here is an email from a frustrated member – referring to Corporations Code Sections 8330-8334:
“Who enforces these codes and  how does one go about insuring that this is
done.
I have asked  the Board of directors, the Association attorneys and others
this am via E mail for specific information and according to the above code I
have an absolute right to that information. How do I go about insuring that I
will receive it ?
I do not think it is necessary to go through some legal hassle to acquire
the information.”
 For those of you who don’t know, 8330 – 8334 of the Corporations Code relate to a corporation member’s rights to inspect the membership list and a director’s absolute right to review association records (although nothing is absolute). I think maybe this owner is really interested in what is in the Davis Stirling Act – and Sections 1363(f) and 1365.2 cover this comprehensively; the DS Act covers the membership list requirements comprehensively, but you may need a lawyer to reconcile differences with the Corporations Code law. You can see these statutes on my website by clicking on “The Davis Stirling Act” link.
It should not be necessary to go through legal hoops to see records if an owner has a valid purpose – but if the
Board/attorneys are not cooperative, that may be the only way.  There is a $500 penalty per violation in the Civil Code if a board does not comply with the law relating to records inspection – a member can ask for this penalty in small claims court.
And as I said, there is a $25 primer available on my website about what owners can see, how they can get a membership list or the opportunity to address members, and also what constraints might exist on a board member’s right to review all records.
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