Are Owner Email Addresses, Telephone and Fax Numbers Exempt from Disclosure Requirements to Unit Owners?

Our other South Florida community association attorneys and I often receive questions about whether the fax numbers, telephone numbers and email addresses of unit owners are official records of the condominium. If they are deemed to be so, then Florida law stipulates that they must be made available to unit owners who make an official records request.

The law on this issue is now clear. Section 718.111(12)(c)(5) of the statutes specifies certain records which are exempt from disclosure to unit owners, and provides, in part, that the following records are not accessible:

“Social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, email addresses, telephone numbers, facsimile numbers, emergency contact information, addresses of a unit owner other than as provided to fulfill the association’s notice requirements, and other personal identifying information of any person, excluding the person’s name, unit designation, mailing address, property address, and any address, email address, or facsimile number provided to the association to fulfill the association’s notice requirements. Notwithstanding the restrictions in this subparagraph, an association may print and distribute to parcel owners a directory containing the name, parcel address, and telephone number of each parcel owner. However, an owner may exclude his or her telephone number from the directory by so requesting in writing to the association. The association is not liable for the inadvertent disclosure of information that is protected under this subparagraph if the information is included in an official record of the association and is voluntarily provided by an owner and not requested by the association.”

Based upon this provision, email addresses and fax numbers are now exempt from disclosure unless an owner has provided consent to receive notices by electronic transmission.

directory.jpgIn addition, pursuant to the provision, telephone numbers are also exempt from the association’s disclosure requirements for records requests. Telephone numbers are only distributed if the association has elected to circulate a directory with the contact information for all owners. However, associations should consult counsel for an opinion on procedural recommendations prior to developing and circulating such a directory. While the association’s main roster can include telephone numbers, these telephone numbers are not published to other unit owners. The only information that is subject to disclosure are the names, unit designations, mailing addresses, property addresses and, as stated in the statute, email addresses and fax numbers only if provided to the association for notice purposes. While such information may not be accessible to unit owners, there may be exceptions for unit owners who are board members of the association.

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