How to request records, meetings
Q: I have gone to the Florida website to get a question answered, but could not find anything related to my question. I want to know if as a condominium owner, I have the authority to request an independent audit. Do we also have the authority to request meetings? Currently we only have one meeting a year.
A: You are addressing member's rights and duties.
While the member can send a written request for copies of the financial reports, the board is responsible for financial reports and audits. For their protection as well as the members, they should have a third party complete the reports and proper financial reports.
You will find the list of "Official Records" that members have a right to view and copy in FS 718.111. A member who wishes to view or copy the records should send a letter with the request. Keep in mind that the request should be specific as to the records and dates of the wanted records. An appointment should be made by the board for you to review the records. If you want copies, the board can charge a per page copy cost.
This section also requires the board to complete an annual financial report. This report should be free of cost to any owner within 120 days of the completion of the report, thereafter a copy charge may be applied.
Here is what the statute says about reports: An association with total annual revenues of less than $100,000 shall prepare a report of cash receipts and expenditures. An association with total annual revenues of $100,000 or more, but less than $200,000, shall prepare compiled financial statements. An association with total annual revenues of at least $200,000, but less than $400,000, shall prepare reviewed financial statements. An association with total annual revenues of $400,000 or more shall prepare audited financial statements.
As an owner, you can request that the board call for a vote to prepare an audit. Just be aware that there is a cost for the reports. In addition, the board should complete a financial report monthly or every other month. This report is more of a comparison of the expenses and income compared to the budget schedule. Thus, if you want to review the financial records, send a letter (maybe a certified letter) requesting what records you want to inspect.
As to meetings, you can send a letter to the board asking that they discuss the question you want answered. Keep in mind that the board has the responsibility to operate the association, and board meetings are for that reason. Most decisions, motions and reports are made at board meetings. Matters of variations to common areas or changes to documents would require members to vote at members or annual meetings, and you can request such a meeting, but you must have other members sign your letter or petition. Also, with such modifications or changes you should have an attorney review the petition and modifications.