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Reasons for Inspection of HOA Records I live in a Homeowner

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Reasons for Inspection of HOA...
Reasons for Inspection of HOA Records
I live in a Homeowner Association in Pennsylvania. The community is comprised of 200 homes arranged in rows of townhouses (picture row homes), The deeds of the homes and the Declaration clearly define that the homeowners own their homes, inside, outside, the roof, and the ground below.
In 2003, the Board at the time amended the Declaration of the HOA to give the Association responsibility for maintaining and replacing the siding, roofing, gutters. The Declaration was written to give the Board complete authority of replacing these elements without input or permission from the homeowners.
Our homes have been neglected by the Board and damage has resulted to both our homes and resale values. For the last four years, the Board has been investigating whether our siding (which is stucco) needs to be replaced and with what new materials. They’ve made all sort of promises but accomplished nothing.
Homeowners have asked to see the various studies, committee minutes, loan negotiations, etc. The Board claims that these committee minutes, reports, studies are work products of the Board and not eligible for inspection. They also feel since they can do whatever to these elements of our homes without our permission, there is no reason to answer to us in any way or provide information to the owners.
Pennsylvania is a closed meeting state and has few protections for homeowners. As the they are withholding is not about common element property, but property of the owners, it seems that the owners should all be allowed to see what they are up to, to judge their competence, and to investigate they are working for the common good or from self interest (e.g. board members homes being maintained while others are neglected).
Is there a legal basis for the owners being allowed to inspect the various reports, committee minutes, studies, monies spent etc. which concern the board’s responsibilities fo maintaining our homes? If there is a legal basis, what would it be?
Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 24 minutes by:
1/19/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: Michael Gonzalez, Lawyer replied 10 months ago
Michael Gonzalez
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 542
Experience: Managing Member at Perez-Mena & Gonzalez, LLC
Verified

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Below is the applicable Pennyslvania statute on the issue including who is entitled to documents and remedy if none provided. I will note that sometimes "work product" priviledge may be asserted by the Board if there is ongoing or imminent threat of litigation OR if the information provided the Board was from its attorneys. In any event, it would behoove you to consult a local attorney to protect your interests and rights.

§ 5316. Association records.

(a) Financial records.--The association shall keep financial records sufficiently detailed to enable the association to comply with section 5407 (relating to resales of units). All financial and other records shall be made reasonably available for examination by any unit owner and authorized agents.

(b) Annual financial statements.--Within 180 days after the close of its fiscal year, the association in any planned community having more than 12 units or subject to any rights under section 5215 (relating to subdivision or conversion of units) or 5211 (relating to conversion and expansion of flexible planned communities) shall prepare annual financial statements consisting of at least a balance sheet and a statement of revenues and expenses for the association. The cost of preparing the financial statements shall be a common expense. Each unit owner shall be entitled to receive from the association, within 30 days after submitting a written request to the association, a copy of the annual financial statements and, if such financial statements are audited, reviewed or compiled by an independent certified public accountant or independent public accountant, a copy of the independent accountant's report on the financial statements. The association may charge a fee not to exceed the cost of producing copies of records other than the financial statement.

(c) Filing of complaints.--If an association subject to subsection (a) fails to provide a copy of the annual financial statements and, if applicable, the report of an independent accountant as required under subsection (b) to the requesting unit owner within 30 days of the unit owner's written request or if the financial records of the association which substantiate an association's financial statements are not made reasonably available by any association for examination by any unit owner and authorized agents, the unit owner may file a complaint with the Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Office of Attorney General.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Michael Gonzalez, Lawyer replied 10 months ago

I have noticed that you have read my response. Is there any further information you want me to expound on? If not, please rate my answer as I do not get any credit until and unless you rate my response.

thank you and good luck!

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Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 542
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Experience: Managing Member at Perez-Mena & Gonzalez, LLC

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