I Want a Copy of ….

A homeowner is unhappy with the management of their community – the assessments, the way common property is being maintained, their neighbors aren’t keeping their yard in a proper manner, …. This leads to questions to board members, then to the management company, escalating to demands for copies of specific records or any documents on specific subjects, threatening legal action if copies are not promptly provided. What are the HOA’s duties?

In Washington, the question is governed by RCW 64.38.045(2), with the short answer being the HOA must make all its records available for inspection and copying, except unlisted phone numbers of owners. The HOA may charge a reasonable amount for copies provided. In Washington, the HOA is under no statutory duty to produce specific records on request, or to search its records for requested documents.

In Oregon, the question is governed by ORS 94.670, which contains much more detail than its Washington counterpart, but with the same short answer as Washington – allow inspection of all records, subject to numerous exemptions allowing for the nondisclosure of information. Due to the number and scope of exceptions, a reader is advised to carefully review the statute. In contrast to Washington, Oregon’s statute requires that an HOA produce, not just make available for inspection, the following documents, for a reasonable fee, within 10 business days of demand:

  1. The declaration and bylaws, including amendments or supplements in effect, the recorded plat, if feasible, and the association rules and regulations in effect;
  2. The most recent financial statement;
  3. The current operating budget;
  4. The reserve study, if any; and
  5. Architectural standards and guidelines, if any.

Similarly, an Oregon Association must produce the following information on assessments within 10 business days of an Owner’s request:

  1. The assessments due from the owner and unpaid when the request was received, including: Regular and special assessments; Fines and other charges; Accrued interest; and Late payment charges.
  2. The percentage rate at which interest accrues on assessments not paid when due.
  3. The percentage rate used to calculate the charges for late payment or the amount of a fixed charge for late payment.

By resolution, an Association may adopt reasonable rules governing the frequency, time, location, notice and manner of examination and duplication of records and imposing a reasonable fee for furnishing copies of any documents, which may include reasonable personnel costs for furnishing the documents, information or records. This is a resolution an HOA would be well advised to adopt, well before any dispute.

 

Besides the applicable statute, an HOA must carefully examine its CCR’s and Bylaws to see if they grant any additional rights to owners.

 

This blog post is offered for general information and educational purposes only. It is not offered as legal advice and does not constitute legal advice or opinion. Although I intend to keep this information current, I do not promise or guarantee that the information is correct, complete, or up-to date. You should not act or reply upon the information in this post without seeking the advice of an attorney.

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