Common interest communities are responsible for maintaining voluminous records—some of which may not be made available to homeowners. The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”) addresses inspection and copying of association records by homeowners and provides guidelines as to which records must be made available to owners, which records may be made available to owners, and which records cannot be provided to owners.
A fairly common records request received by associations is owners requesting their neighbors’ or all the owners’ email addresses and phone numbers. This is typically requested in the form of a membership list. Colorado law does require associations to maintain membership lists containing owners’ names, mailing addresses, and number of votes allocated to each owner; furthermore, such list must be made available to owners upon request. However, CCIOA very clearly requires associations to withhold certain documentation and information, including telephone numbers and email addresses of owners.
Despite the prohibition on disclosure of email addresses and phone numbers, an exception exists to the above prohibition, which allows disclosure of such information if owners provide prior written authorization to disclosure of his/her telephone number, email address, or both. Keep in mind, the written authorization requirement is an affirmative requirement, which means an association cannot send an email out to an owner indicating that a failure to respond will be deemed permission by that owner to publish his/her email address or phone number. The owner must take affirmative steps to provide permission, such as checking a box or filling out a form.
How does the above approval requirement impact associations in everyday life? The primary impact surrounds the ability of associations to create and distribute owner directories. If an association does not receive specific written authorization from an owner to publish his/her phone number and/or email address, such information cannot be published in the directory, although the owner’s name and address must be published as this information is public and required by Colorado law.
A secondary impact of the written approval requirement is the association’s ability to provide emails and phone numbers in response to a records request. Remember, CCIOA requires associations to adopt a records inspection and copying policy, so make sure your policy clearly addresses the email/phone number records requests.
Should you have any questions regarding records inspection requests or a records inspection policy, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our attorneys at 303.432.999.