Community associations in Florida are required to provide owners with access to the association’s official records within 10 working days after receiving a written request from a unit owner or the owner’s authorized representative. Given such a statutory mandate, it is not so uncommon for associations to receive requests to inspect financial and accounting records, contracts, certified copies of plans, permits and warranties provided by the developer or any other contractor, as well as copies of the declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws, rules and regulations, and insurance policies.
Associations should be prepared to respond to requests to inspect official records by utilizing strong document management and retention policies. For large associations, records should be cataloged and preserved using third-party cloud services for offsite storage and backup. These systems can be set to automatically backup and store association records at regular intervals.
One of the simplest ways for associations to keep a thorough and searchable archive of important email communications with property management, attorneys, insurance brokers and others is to utilize a single association board email address as the sender and/or copied recipient of all such messages.