The recent revisions to Florida’s laws governing condominium associations, cooperative associations, and mandatory homeowners’ associations updated the procedures for producing, inspecting and copying an association’s "official records".
Effective July 1, 2013, an association in Florida’s resident owned communities can satisfy the requirement that it make its official records available for inspection and copying by:
- making the records available to a member electronically via the Internet or
- allowing the records to be viewed in an electronic format on a computer screen and printed upon request
Board members and managers in resident owned communities should note that the association is not responsible for the use or misuse of the information provided to a member or that member’s representative when it complies with the requirements to produce official records for inspection or copying unless the association has an affirmative duty not to disclose that information–for example, if that information falls within the category of "protected" official records.
In addition, associations must now allow a member or his or her authorized representative to use portable devices, including smartphones, tablets, portable scanners, or any other technology capable of scanning or taking photographs, to make an electronic copy of the official records instead of the association providing that member or his or her representative with a copy of those records. The association may not charge that member or his or her representative for the use of a portable device.
Again, board members and managers should remember that certain information–while part of the association’s official records–is not to be produced to members and great care must be taken to carefully inspect all records and to remove or redact all information that is required to remain confidential or otherwise protected before those records are produced to the member or his or her representative.
When faced with requests to produce records for inspection or copying, an association should strongly consider consulting with its attorney before responding to that request.
We’ll be discussing hurricane preparedness and Citizens Insurance this Saturday from 11 to noon on Community Matters and I hope you’ll listen live or by podcast.