Who Has Access to Association Financials?

A reader who wants to sell a Unit is baffled – why can’t she see association financials?

Here is the question:

“My Aunt owns a condo in Costa Mesa.  She just passed away and I am looking into selling it.  I have been asked by several potential buyers for the financials of the condo.  When I spoke to the President of the association she advised me that she is unable to give them to me as I am not the owner.  Since, I am not from CA, I am not sure of the laws. I know were I am from the must present them when asked for them.  Can you please advise?”

California law provides Owners with various rights but those are not delegated to relatives unless the association is provided with an authorization from the owner (as the owner can appoint an agent to review financials) which of course is not possible here. Someone will have to establish proof of death and rights of successors for the association to provide documents, in other words the name of someone credible who succeeds to the owner who has passed away. Some associations might be willing to provide them to a Trustee of a trust if the trust owns the property, and should. But until someone else has title, such as whomever is the beneficiary, it might be a problem.

If you are the executor, trustee or a beneficiary it is best to get a lawyer who can assist you in getting access to these important records. It is likely the association will cooperate if it is to get a vacant unit sold. I or other knowledgeable HOA attorneys could probaby assist.


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