Helping Clients Request Condo Association Records

"Clients constantly tell me that they want 'the State to come in' as if on any particular day a team of auditors is going to present themselves outside the Association's office, demand access to the Association's records, fix everything and even arrest the offenders. If only it were that easy!" — Attorney Debra Lynn Fein, JD, MBA; Fein Law, LLC

Florida law provides the process for requesting access to the records of the Association. Upon receiving a request for records, the Association must take action or risk liability for damages to the Owner making the request. Each step in the process requires the letter of the law be followed precisely. Retaining a lawyer who understands these laws and how they apply to your situation is crucial.

Attorney Debra Lynn Fein of Fein Law, LLC has the skills necessary to accomplish your objectives. Based in Fort Lauderdale, Fein Law, LLC represents clients across the region.

Association Records Are Pre-Litigation Discovery

The records also play a vital role in many arbitration cases.

Florida law requires certain disputes between the Owner and the Association to be resolved in arbitration rather than court. The law also requires that the losing party must pay the prevailing party's fees and costs of arbitration. This means that an Owner must carefully consider the strength of the case before pursuing litigation. Having access to the records before litigation begins is an important way to determine the likelihood of success in arbitration.

Time Limits and Restrictions Exist

The Association is only required to maintain certain records for a limited period of time. Some records are confidential and will not be produced. Records that must be produced in response to an Owner's request include:

  • Minutes from Board meetings
  • The building's financials, including operating budget(s)
  • All contracts binding the Association
  • All legal opinions rendered by the Association's Attorney

The Owner planning a records request must have a strategy for obtaining the desired documents. With the assistance of Debra Lynn Fein, JD, MBA, an attorney who understands the Florida Evidence Code, the litigation and arbitration process and the Florida Condominium Act, the Owner will be able to prepare a records request that obtains results.

Resolving Record-Related Disputes

Obtaining the records is only the beginning of the process. Once the desired records are obtained, the records must be reviewed and placed into the pre-litigation context. This way an Owner is able to evaluate the strength of the potential case and whether to proceed to litigation.

As a lawyer with a Master's Degree in Business Administration, including a background in reading financial statements and a working knowledge of accounting, Debra Lynn Fein, JD, MBA, is uniquely qualified to provide assistance from start to finish with an Owner's Records Request. Not only can the information be useful in following the money to identify any irregularities in finances, but a properly presented records request will also protect your investment in your property.

To learn more about how Fein Law, LLC will provide assistance to you in any Condominium Law matter, call today at 954-533-0825 or contact the firm online.