Documents and Disclosure
What Documents Must an Association Maintain and Disclose?
A Florida association must maintain its “official records” and written meeting minutes for all board and member meetings, including notation of each board member’s votes (except that votes for election of officers may be conducted by secret ballot). Fla. Stat. §720.303(3). An association’s official records include its bylaws, articles of incorporation, declaration, rules, names and contact information for all members, all contracts to which the association is a party, and the HOA’s financial and accounting records. Fla. Stat. §720.303(4). Any contract an association enters into for the provision of services must be in writing, and an association must accept competitive bids for any contract requiring payment of funds in excess of ten percent of the association’s budget. Fla. Stat. §702.3055. However, contracts with HOA employees, attorneys, accountants, architects, and community managers are exempt. Id.
Official records must be made available for viewing and copying by a requesting member within 10 business days after the member’s written request. Fla. Stat. §720.303(5). The minimum statutory damages for an association’s failure to comply with a records request is $50.00 per day. Fla. Stat. §720.303(5)(b). An association can adopt reasonable rules with regard to the frequency, time, and manner for inspections but cannot require a requesting member to provide a reason for the request and cannot charge a fee if the member uses a portable device (e.g., smartphone) to make his or her own electronic copies. Fla. Stat. §720.303(5). Associations must also provide members with a copy of the association’s annual budget or notice that a copy is available upon request. Fla. Stat. §720.303(6).
At least 90 days after the end of the fiscal year (or other date established in the declaration), an association must prepare a financial report for the prior year, which must be made available to members. Fla. Stat. §720.303(7). If approved by majority vote, the board may alternatively produce a report of cash receipts and expenditures. Fla. Stat. §720.303(5)(d).
Any board meeting and meeting of an architectural review committee, if the development has one, must be open to all members unless the meeting is for the purpose of discussing personnel matters or is with the board’s attorney regarding matters protected by the attorney-client privilege. Fla. Stat. §720.303(2)(a) and (b).
For condominium associations’ document maintenance and inspection guidelines please see Fla. Stat. §718.111(12) and Florida’s Administrative Code, Rules 61B-22.002, 61B-22.003(3), 61B23.002(5) and 61B-23.0021(13).