HOA Records: Do homeowners have to pay for this information?

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HOA Records: Do homeowners have to pay for this information?

Did you know that there are roughly 300,000 homeowner associations in the United States? This translates to mean that approximately 40 million households are held to the standards of the HOA in their community.

With that volume of individuals, homeowner associations can easily stay busy with their responsibilities and duties, which is why many are run by a property management company. Additionally, this also means that there are a lot of questions and concerns coming from homeowners, which can include…

What type of fencing am I allowed to install? Are there any particular requirements on how I store my trashcan and recycling bin? What are the rules when it comes to parking on the street? How are my HOA assessments being spent?

A common request from property owners is for HOA records. This can include maps, community forms, governing documents, budget reports and other community information. All homeowners have the basic right of access to this information, but the question often arises if they are required to pay for these HOA records.

The majority of homeowner associations in North Carolina are established as nonprofit organizations, regardless of whether they are managed by volunteers or a property management company.

According to the North Carolina Nonprofit Corporation Act, “The corporation may impose a reasonable charge, covering the costs of labor and material, for producing for inspection or copying any records provided to the member.  The charge shall not exceed the estimated cost of production or reproduction of the records.”

To put it simply, the homeowner association or property management company does have the right to charge a reasonable fee for producing or copying HOA records.

Typically, this is a very small price to pay when homeowners want to make sure that they are completely up to speed on the current community covenants and any changes that have been made over the years. This information is especially handy when tackling any renovation projects or when the owner is considering selling or renting the property.

Regardless of the reason, having access to both current and past HOA records is an essential privilege of all property owners. Even though it may come at cost, it is always better to play it safe than sorry when seeking answers or wanting to verify this information.