Charges for Assembling, Producing and Copying Records
Yesterday I blogged that Governor Hickenlooper had signed the HOA records bill (“HB 1237”) into law. In order to be prepared to comply with the new law when it goes into effect on January 1, 2013, we are recommending that managers, management companies and HOA boards familiarize themselves with the requirements of the new law and to begin preparing now to comply.
For those of you who have been following my blog series which outlines the requirements, of HB 1237, you know we have covered: (1) records which HOAs will be required to maintain and produce to owners upon request; (2) records which may be withheld from production to owners; (3) records which must be withheld from production to owners; (4) restrictions which owners in HOAs must follow when utilizing membership lists; and (5) procedures which HOAs will be permitted to utilize in obtaining and processing records requests from owners.
Today I am going to cover what HOAs may charge, beginning on January 1st, for assembling, producing and copying records. Here’s what you need to know:
Under the current law, which will remain in effect through December 31, 2012, HOAs are limited to charging “the association’s actual cost per page, for copies of association records.” This provision makes it difficult for associations to recover the costs associated with locating the records which have been requested, assembling the records for inspection and providing copies to the requesting owner.
The new law permits HOAs to “impose a reasonable charge, which may be collected in advance, and which may cover the costs of labor and material, for copies of association records. The charge may not exceed the estimated cost of production and reproduction of the records.”
This new provision, which mirrors language in the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act, permits HOAs to charge the costs of labor associated with assembling, producing records for inspection and copying the records. However, it is essential to point out that these charges must be “reasonable.” As a result, we do not recommend that these charges be utilized as a profit center for management companies or associations. Instead, it is important that these costs reasonably reflect the labor costs and materials associated with the records request.
Stay tuned for other important tips on complying with HB 1237.