Records Retention and Production
I imagine we’ve all heard of the Colorado HOA Information Center? The office collects information and complaints concerning homeowner associations and presents a summary of such in an annual report to the Division of Real Estate, established under the Department of Regulatory Agencies (“DORA”). DORA has indicated that many of the complaints received involved a lack of disclosure of association records to its members. As a result, a new House Bill 12-1237 became effective January 1st, 2013.
This Bill amends Section 317 of CCIOA and clarifies which records “shall be deemed to be the sole records of the association for the purposes of document retention and production to owners.”
The new law addresses at least the following:
- The elimination of a previous requirement that an owner provide the association with the, all too arbitrary, “proper purpose” to access records.
- Which records must be maintained and produced for inspection by owners.
- Which records may be withheld, and which records must be withheld, from disclosure.
- Contact details for unit owners and board members.
- The procedures for owners to request access to documents.
- Reasonable charges to cover the costs of document copies or access.
Some of the amendments to this Section 317 may be subtle, but nonetheless significant. The Bill provides that minutes of all owner and board meetings are to be held and disclosed; previously only minutes of the last 3 years were required. Ballots, proxies, and other records related to voting by unit owners must be kept for up to one year. Also, all actions taken by the owners or board outside of a meeting, and all actions taken by any committee appointed by the board, must be recorded. Written communications and associated votes are now considered association records and must be maintained and produced upon request. All written contracts of the association must be retained for two years.
The Bill clarifies which names and addresses are to be kept as records of the association. Any records relating to association personnel, or personal identification of the unit owners, such as telephone numbers and email addresses must be withheld from inspection and copying.
As a reminder, your association is required to annually disclose, within 90 days after the end of its fiscal year, a similar collection of documents. As a consequence of a prior Bill (“SB 100”), each association was to have adopted a written policy on the inspection and copying of association records by owners. This policy should be amended, by an attorney, to comply with the new HB 12-1237 (click on the Bill to view).