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16 NEW ENGLAND CONDOMINIUM   -JULY 2019   NEWENGLANDCONDO.COM  Entitlement to    Information  What Can Residents Access?   BY MIKE ODENTHAL  BOARD OPERATIONS  L  iving in a community association can   sometimes be – or at least feel – com-  plicated. For most people, their home is  formal proceedings before  a governmental   their biggest single investment, and the value  tribunal for enforcement of the declaration,   of that individual investment depends a lot on  bylaws or rules;   the cooperation of neighbors, management,   and board to make competent, informed de-  cisions that maintain or increase the value of  attorney-client privilege or the attorney work-  the larger property. Given the stakes, more  product doctrine;  active, involved residents may want not only   to attend open meetings, but to occasionally  executive board; or  review association documents – both to stay   informed and to make sure everything is on  the requesting owner.  the  up-and-up.  If you  happen  to be  one  of   those engaged unit owners – or are a trustee  fee for supervising an owner’s inspection of its   yourself – it pays to know what information  records and for supplying copies to the own-  non-board  residents  are  entitled  to  access,  er,” adds Sandler.   and what’s for board members’ eyes only.  New  England  Condominium   spoke with   several legal and management professionals   throughout the region about what documents   and information residents can request to re-  view in different types of multifamily com-  munities, as well as what boards and manag-  ers must keep confidential.   Scott J. Sandler, Managing Partner at law   firm Sandler, Hansen & Alexander, LLC, in   Middletown, Connecticut  “Connecticut’s version of the Common   Interest Ownership Act (CIOA) contains an  minutes are kept  extensive provision that addresses the ability   of owners to inspect and copy association re-  cords,” says Sandler. “Most association records   must be open to the owners for inspection.  invoices and vouchers authorizing payments,   The association is not required to synthesize  receivable and bank statements relating there-  or compile any information just because an  to;  owner wishes to see it, but to the extent a re-  cord exists, it would generally be available for  serve fund or any other funds of the associa-  the owners to inspect.  “The association may   not   permit owners   to inspect personnel, salary, and medical re-  cords relating to specific individuals, unless  of the association; contracts for work to be   waived by the persons to whom such records  performed for or services to be provided to   relate; or information the disclosure of which  the condominium; and  would violate any law.  “Additionally,” says Sandler, “the associa-  tion may choose to withhold the following   records:  a. Contracts, leases, and other commercial  would include matters regarding personnel   transactions to purchase or provide goods or  (i.e. employees of the condominium), person-  services currently being negotiated;  b. Existing or potential litigation or media-  tion, arbitration or administrative proceed-  ings;  c. Existing or potential matters involving   federal, state or local administrative or other   d. Communications with the association’s   attorney which are otherwise protected by the   e. Records of an executive session of the   f. Individual unit files other than those of   “The association may charge a reasonable   Matthew W. Gaines, a partner at the   Condominium Practice Group and Real   Estate Department of law firm Marcus, Em-  mer, Errico & Brooks, which has offices in   Massachusetts and New Hampshire   According to Gaines: “Pursuant to Massa-  chusetts General Law c. 183A, Section 10(c),   an association is required to keep a complete   copy of the following items:  a. The master deed and any amendments;  b. The bylaws and any amendments;  c. The minute book, to the extent such   d. Financial records, including the follow-  ing:  i. Records of all receipts and expenditures,   ii. Records regarding the replacement re-  tion and bank statements;  iii. Audits, reviews, accounting statements,   and financial reports relating to the finances   iv. All current insurance policies of the as-  sociation.  “As for documents that owners are pro-  hibited from seeing,” Gaines continues, “that   al information (such as which accounts are   delinquent in paying), and matters involving   attorney/client privilege.  “The records listed above must be avail-

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