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Feldsott Lee Pagano & Canfield
Orange County Homeowners Association Law Firm

Are homeowners' association members allowed full disclosure?

Many California residents live in residential neighborhoods that provide them with extra amenities. In exchange, they pay dues as homeowners' association members. Paying those dues may also allow members access to meeting minutes, financial statements and other information upon request, but what happens if the board refuses to provide that information.

A homeowner in another state repeatedly requested this type of information from his HOA board, but the HOA refused to provide it. The trouble began when he questioned whether a former board member becoming the property manager was aboveboard. He says that he was basically told that it was none of his business. 

The Kansas man ultimately filed a lawsuit that later settled when he received some documentation. However, his review of the information only raised additional questions for him. He believes that the property manager was not properly managing the community.

He decided that the authorities needed to be involved. Proposed legislation in Kansas would make HOAs more accountable to their members, which may prevent overzealous and improper actions by board members. In addition, it may prevent the filing of costly lawsuits over issues that should be resolvable among the parties.

California homeowners' association members often feel as though board members act without oversight and often overreach. In some cases, it may take a lawsuit to bring that to light and change the circumstances. Even though many situations fall within similar categories, the specific details often do not. Determining whether legal action would be appropriate in a particular situation may require some experienced advice and guidance.

Source: kansascity.com, "His HOA refused to open its books for him. Now he's sharing his story to help others.", Judy L. Thomas, March 16, 2018

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