Homeowner Association: No Secrets – Access to Records

Whether a homeowner’s association, community organization, co-op or a non-profit organization, its members are encouraged and welcomed to read official governing documents.  There’s nothing secret about the business of the association.  In fact, you should already have copies of key documents like the bylaws or rules.  HOAs in particular should be practicing transparency and if your Management Company or Board says otherwise, they may be violating the law, as well as exposing you, the rest of your neighbors and the Board, to liability. 

Common documents that are open for the membership to review include:

  • Board meeting minutes
  • Insurance policies
  • Financial statements and annual audits
  • Declaration and bylaws
  • Rules and regulations
  • Current contracts
  • Leases and agreements

Here’s how to gain access:

  1. Send the Board a request in writing specifying exactly what records you wish to review, the date of those records and the purpose of your request.


  1. Most Boards are required to respond in a certain time-frame, generally within 30 days. During that time the Board or manager will locate the correct documents and get them ready for you.


  1. The records you request will be available for your review during regular business hours at the manager’s office for 30 days after your request is processed.


  1. The association will make copies of records for a nominal fee.

Please do not request documents that infringe on the privacy of an individual like medical or personnel records.  They are not public records, and the association will not make them available.  Some requests might also be denied if they involve ongoing legal or contractual obligations that might expose the association Board or manager to liability. 

MGM Association Management, a Community Association Institute certified association manager with over 20 years of governing HOAs, would like to remind all homeowners who live within and under the rules of an HOA, to read their covenants, conditions and restrictions.  

CC&Rs are legal and guiding documents that outline and determine the scope of the association.  Unfortunately, many CC&Rs are outdated, written decades ago or may not include a thorough dissemination of procedures or policies. 

In addition, MGM recommends that each homeowner take turns to be on the Board and that no homeowner should remain in their position for more than 2 years.  As Boards change over time, CC&Rs should be constantly reviewed and updated, plus participation on the Board gives the homeowner a positive perspective of community living, thus influencing their association’s culture.  Taken together, your community or association will thrive with the times.

For more information on how to correctly live within an HOA or how to effectively govern an HOA, please contact MGM Association Management at (208) 846-8189 or www.gomgm.com.