The Virginia Code has provisions that provide members of condominium associations and homeowner associations with the ability to request copies of books and records. The statutes have also permitted associations to recover the costs of copying the requested books and records.
This blog post highlights a new statutory provision affecting common interest communities. On July 1, 2012, HOAs and condo associations will only be able to recover these copying costs if the association has adopted a cost schedule.
Va Code Ann. 55-79.74:1, which is applicable to condominiums, and Va. Code Ann. 55-510(D), which is applicable to homeowner associations, provide members of associations the opportunity to look at and copy all books and records kept by or on behalf of the association. The applicable statute permits the member to exercise his right upon five days’ written notice to the association, with such notice reasonably identifying both the purpose for the request and the specific books and records that the member wants to review. The member must be in good standing, and may only exercise his right during reasonable business hours or at a mutually convenient time and location. Associations may recover the costs of materials and labor for copies of any of the requested books and records.
Under the new statutory provisions, in order to recover those costs, associations must have a policy in place that sets forth a cost schedule for the labor and material charges for the various documents that may be requested. The cost schedule should reflect charges that are reasonable, and the costs may not exceed the actual costs incurred by the association. The Virginia statutes require that the policy must apply equally to all members in good standing, and that the cost schedule must be provided to the requesting member at the time the request is made.
With the July 1, 2012 deadline, make sure that your community association has complied with the new provisions. Consult with your association attorneyto have your policy reviewed or drafted for compliance with Virginia law.
Tarley Robinson, PLC, Attorneys and Counsellors at Law
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