Monitor Your HOA Records
Have you checked your Condo Records lately? Living in a condo and letting a Property Management Company or Board of Directors manage your condo is beneficial for those who don’t want to maintain the day-to-day details. However, as a property owner you should do a wellness check from time-to-time to make sure your Condo records are in order. Some Condo or HOA’s have found out months or years later their money was not properly allocated to managing the property or at times missing. By performing a condo wellness check, you help prevent the mismanagement of your HOA dues. So the question would be what should I look for?
- Florida Statues has a list of records which must be kept for all Condo’s Associations. As an owner, you would want to check to make sure your Condo Association is keeping these records for each homeowner’s inspection to make sure your condo is compliant with the correct operation of a condominium. Your rights to these records are according to statute: 718.111(12)
- A copy of the condo plans, permits and warranties
- A copy of the recorded Declaration of Condominium and a recording of each amendment if there have been any amendments to the original records
- A copy of the By-laws and any amendments
- A copy of the meeting minutes which need to be stored for 7 years. These meeting minutes are extremely important for information that has occurred in the past and the decisions made recorded properly. If there is any problems in the future these recordings are extremely important as to whom made the decisions, board votes, community votes etc…
- A copy of the current Association rules and regulations
- A certified copy of the Articles of Incorporation generally turned over by the Developer
- A current roster of unit owners including electronic email addresses
- A file for the Management Agreement, Lease or other contracts the association may have signed and have an obligation for payment
- If an Association owns property there must be a file for Bills of Sale or Transfers for Association owned property
- Current HOA Insurance Policies please read your documents to make sure what insurance your Association is supposed to have to cover your units. One Association we know have had been purchasing flood insurance for years when it was not in a flood zone and the condominium documents state that the flood insurance should only be purchased if the Condo’s were designated by FEMA to be in a flood zone.
- Accounting records for an association must be maintained for 7 years.
- A detailed record of all expenditures and receipts for purchases or services
- An ongoing statement of account including unit owner information and payment records along with balance due
- Yearly accountant audits and reviews for the condominium
- Contracts and Bids for work to be performed or considered on behalf of the Association.
- Yearly Ballots and Sign-In sheets including voting proxies each election year.
- Rental records if the Association is acting as agent for renting units.
- Question and Answer Sheet maintained by the Association as described in statute 718.504
- Any other records of the association such as wind mitigation and appraisals which are necessary to the operation of the property.
- A copy of the inspection report
By checking the records and looking at the financials compared with the budget you will be able to see where your money is being spent and whether proper bids were obtained. Comparing contracts to expenses will also ensure that these files are being maintained. You may want to review the contracts to ensure you are being protected. For example, how many years is the contract? Does the Management contract have exactly the services that it will provide? Is the Management company performing those services? If you have an Exterminator is this company performing the tasks according to contract? Sometimes we see where Condo Boards change members or Management Companies and there is a disconnect as to the contracts the Association has or the tasks Contractors are to perform. With more community members checking records, contracts and financials it makes for a more informed and properly run Association. Lastly, make sure your Association is obtaining proper bids and maintaining the book so that your budget is in order.