A member of your association comes to you requesting to see the minutes from the last twelve board meetings. Another member asks for copies of all contracts the association has entered into, plus all checks written to those contractors. Yet another asks for a copy of an opinion letter from the association’s attorney. How should you respond to these requests for association documents? Are you obligated to hand over the information? Can you charge the member for copying the documents?
Colorado law and the association’s governing documents govern the availability of association records for inspection by homeowners. There are several Colorado statutes that address access to records. The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”) applies in its entirety to all community associations established after July 1, 1992, and partially to those created prior to that date. The Condominium Ownership Act (“Condominium Act”) applies only to condominium associations, as distinguished from single family or townhome associations. The Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act (“Nonprofit Act”) controls nonprofit corporations in general and is applicable in the context of homeowners associations because most associations are incorporated as nonprofit corporations. Each of these statutes will be discussed separately as each is unique in its application.
Section 317 of CCIOA states, “All financial and other records shall be made reasonably available for examination and copying by any unit owner and such owner’s authorized agents.” CRS §38-33.3-317. The section defines “reasonably available” to mean available during normal business hours after five days notice. Senate Bill 06-89, which is expected to become law in June, 2006, allows the association to make the records reasonably available within five business days or at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting if currently scheduled within 30 days of the request. An association may charge a fee in advance for copying such records, but this fee may not exceed the association’s actual cost of copying. This section applies to all common interest communities regardless of when they came into existence.
Section 317 of CCIOA mandates that Associations keep the following as a permanent record:
- Minutes of all unit owner and board meetings;
- A record of all actions taken by the unit owners or board by written ballot or written consent instead of holding a meeting;
- A record of all actions taken by a committee of the board; and
- A record of all waivers of meeting notices of unit owners, board members, or any committee members.
In addition to the permanent records an association is required to keep, an association must keep a copy of each of the following records at its principal office:
- Its articles of incorporation or other applicable organizational documents;
- The declaration;
- The covenants;
- Its bylaws;
- Resolutions adopted by the board affecting unit owners;
- The minutes of all unit owners’ meetings and records of actions taken by unit owners without a meeting for the past three years;
- All written communications within the past three years to unit owners;
- A list of the names and business or home addresses of its current directors and officers;
- Its most recent annual report, if any; and
- All financial audits or reviews conducted pursuant to section 38-33.3-303(4)(b) during the immediately preceding three years.