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How To Inspect Records From Golden Lakes Village Offices

INSPECTION & COPYING OF RECORDS AT GOLDEN LAKES VILLAGE

Unit owners at Golden Lakes Village, Phase B, have legal rights to obtain certain information and documents from the office.

There are two main types of limiting rules as to what you can expect to receive.

1. State statute guarantee your basic legal right to obtain information and documents from the two associations that are active here, Golden Lakes Homeowner Association and Village Condominium Association.  Florida statute 718 governs condominium associations and states certain rights to “Official Records” which are categories specifically listed there. Florida statute 720 also states certain rights to “Official Records” as defined there.  These statute also allow the association to further restrict your access to information and documents if the Board of Directors duly adopts written “reasonable rules” governing release of information.  Know that the rules about release of documents are not always “reasonable” to unit owners as they may seem to the Board of Directors.

2. Reasonable written rules adopted by the Board of Directors. You can be required to pay a per page fee, and only request certain documents certain dates and times according to the rules. You may ask for a copy of the current version of these rules at the office of Golden Lakes Village.

To view the version of the very tight Information Access Rules in Golden Lakes Village effective since 2010 to February 23, 2011, please CLICK HERE. These rules may be rescinded of modified at some date after the 2011 administration begins its year during February, 2011.

To inspect or obtain copies of Official Records from the Golden Lakes office, simply go to the office window and sign a written records request form. List specifically the documents you wish to see or copy. Document request forms are available at the office.

The Florida Condominium Act, Statute 718, describes your rights to inspect and obtain Official Records of the association. Separate rules for inspection of association records apply to the Golden Lakes Homeowner’s Association, and these are regulated by Florida Statute 720. Use links at the right side of this website to view that statute.

Below is a key portion of the Statute 718 regarding information access rights:

If you have questions or difficulties inspecting or obtaining records from Golden Lakes Village, let your friends at Golden Lakes Village know. Maybe we can help.

Email to goldenlakes1000@Gmail.Com


OFFICIAL RECORDS:

(a)From the inception of the association, the association shall maintain each of the following items, if applicable, which shall constitute the official records of the association: 

1.A copy of the plans, permits, warranties, and other items provided by the developer pursuant to s. 718.301(4).

2.A photocopy of the recorded declaration of condominium of each condominium operated by the association and of each amendment to each declaration.

3.A photocopy of the recorded bylaws of the association and of each amendment to the bylaws.

4.A certified copy of the articles of incorporation of the association, or other documents creating the association, and of each amendment thereto.

5.A copy of the current rules of the association.

6.A book or books which contain the minutes of all meetings of the association, of the board of administration, and of unit owners, which minutes must be retained for at least 7 years.

7.A current roster of all unit owners and their mailing addresses, unit identifications, voting certifications, and, if known, telephone numbers. The association shall also maintain the electronic mailing addresses and the numbers designated by unit owners for receiving notice sent by electronic transmission of those unit owners consenting to receive notice by electronic transmission. The electronic mailing addresses and telephone numbers must be removed from association records if consent to receive notice by electronic transmission is revoked. However, the association is not liable for an erroneous disclosure of the electronic mail address or the number for receiving electronic transmission of notices.

8.All current insurance policies of the association and condominiums operated by the association.

9.A current copy of any management agreement, lease, or other contract to which the association is a party or under which the association or the unit owners have an obligation or responsibility.

10.Bills of sale or transfer for all property owned by the association.

11.Accounting records for the association and separate accounting records for each condominium which the association operates. All accounting records shall be maintained for at least 7 years. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or destroys accounting records required to be created and maintained by this chapter during the period for which such records are required to be maintained, or who knowingly or intentionally fails to create or maintain such records, with the intent of causing harm to the association or one or more of its members, is personally subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d). The accounting records must include, but are not limited to:

a.Accurate, itemized, and detailed records of all receipts and expenditures.

b.A current account and a monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly statement of the account for each unit designating the name of the unit owner, the due date and amount of each assessment, the amount paid upon the account, and the balance due.

c.All audits, reviews, accounting statements, and financial reports of the association or condominium.

d.All contracts for work to be performed. Bids for work to be performed are also considered official records and must be maintained by the association.

12.Ballots, sign-in sheets, voting proxies, and all other papers relating to voting by unit owners, which must be maintained for 1 year from the date of the election, vote, or meeting to which the document relates, notwithstanding paragraph (b).

13.All rental records if the association is acting as agent for the rental of condominium units.

14.A copy of the current question and answer sheet as described in s. 718.504.

15.All other records of the association not specifically included in the foregoing which are related to the operation of the association.

16.A copy of the inspection report as provided in s. 718.301(4)(p).

(b)The official records of the association must be maintained within the state for at least 7 years. The records of the association shall be made available to a unit owner within 45 miles of the condominium property or within the county in which the condominium property is located within 5 working days after receipt of a written request by the board or its designee. However, such distance requirement does not apply to an association governing a timeshare condominium. This paragraph may be complied with by having a copy of the official records of the association available for inspection or copying on the condominium property or association property, or the association may offer the option of making the records available to a unit owner electronically via the Internet or by allowing the records to be viewed in electronic format on a computer screen and printed upon request. The association is not responsible for the use or misuse of the information provided to an association member or his or her authorized representative pursuant to the compliance requirements of this chapter unless the association has an affirmative duty not to disclose such information pursuant to this chapter.

(c)The official records of the association are open to inspection by any association member or the authorized representative of such member at all reasonable times. The right to inspect the records includes the right to make or obtain copies, at the reasonable expense, if any, of the member. The association may adopt reasonable rules regarding the frequency, time, location, notice, and manner of record inspections and copying. The failure of an association to provide the records within 10 working days after receipt of a written request creates a rebuttable presumption that the association willfully failed to comply with this paragraph. A unit owner who is denied access to official records is entitled to the actual damages or minimum damages for the association’s willful failure to comply. Minimum damages shall be $50 per calendar day up to 10 days, the calculation to begin on the 11th working day after receipt of the written request. The failure to permit inspection of the association records as provided herein entitles any person prevailing in an enforcement action to recover reasonable attorney’s fees from the person in control of the records who, directly or indirectly, knowingly denied access to the records. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or destroys accounting records that are required by this chapter to be maintained during the period for which such records are required to be maintained, or who knowingly or intentionally fails to create or maintain accounting records that are required to be created or maintained, with the intent of causing harm to the association or one or more of its members, is personally subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d). The association shall maintain an adequate number of copies of the declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and rules, and all amendments to each of the foregoing, as well as the question and answer sheet provided for in s. 718.504 and year-end financial information required in this section, on the condominium property to ensure their availability to unit owners and prospective purchasers, and may charge its actual costs for preparing and furnishing these documents to those requesting the documents. Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph, the following records are not accessible to unit owners: 

1.Any record protected by the lawyer-client privilege as described in s. 90.502; and any record protected by the work-product privilege, including any record prepared by an association attorney or prepared at the attorney’s express direction; which reflects a mental impression, conclusion, litigation strategy, or legal theory of the attorney or the association, and which was prepared exclusively for civil or criminal litigation or for adversarial administrative proceedings, or which was prepared in anticipation of imminent civil or criminal litigation or imminent adversarial administrative proceedings until the conclusion of the litigation or adversarial administrative proceedings.

2.Information obtained by an association in connection with the approval of the lease, sale, or other transfer of a unit.

3.Personnel records of association employees, including, but not limited to, disciplinary, payroll, health, and insurance records.

4.Medical records of unit owners.

5.Social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, emergency contact information, any addresses of a unit owner other than as provided to fulfill the association’s notice requirements, and other personal identifying information of any person, excluding the person’s name, unit designation, mailing address, and property address.

6.Any electronic security measure that is used by the association to safeguard data, including passwords.

7.The software and operating system used by the association which allows manipulation of data, even if the owner owns a copy of the same software used by the association. The data is part of the official records of the association.

(d)The association shall prepare a question and answer sheet as described in s. 718.504, and shall update it annually.

(e)1.The association or its authorized agent is not required to provide a prospective purchaser or lienholder with information about the condominium or the association other than information or documents required by this chapter to be made available or disclosed. The association or its authorized agent may charge a reasonable fee to the prospective purchaser, lienholder, or the current unit owner for providing good faith responses to requests for information by or on behalf of a prospective purchaser or lienholder, other than that required by law, if the fee does not exceed $150 plus the reasonable cost of photocopying and any attorney’s fees incurred by the association in connection with the response.

2.An association and its authorized agent are not liable for providing such information in good faith pursuant to a written request if the person providing the information includes a written statement in substantially the following form: “The responses herein are made in good faith and to the best of my ability as to their accuracy.”

(13)FINANCIAL REPORTING.—Within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year, or annually on a date provided in the bylaws, the association shall prepare and complete, or contract for the preparation and completion of, a financial report for the preceding fiscal year. Within 21 days after the final financial report is completed by the association or received from the third party, but not later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year or other date as provided in the bylaws, the association shall mail to each unit owner at the address last furnished to the association by the unit owner, or hand deliver to each unit owner, a copy of the financial report or a notice that a copy of the financial report will be mailed or hand delivered to the unit owner, without charge, upon receipt of a written request from the unit owner. The division shall adopt rules setting forth uniform accounting principles and standards to be used by all associations and addressing the financial reporting requirements for multicondominium associations. The rules must include, but not be limited to, standards for presenting a summary of association reserves, including a good faith estimate disclosing the annual amount of reserve funds that would be necessary for the association to fully fund reserves for each reserve item based on the straight-line accounting method. This disclosure is not applicable to reserves funded via the pooling method. In adopting such rules, the division shall consider the number of members and annual revenues of an association. Financial reports shall be prepared as follows: 

(a)An association that meets the criteria of this paragraph shall prepare a complete set of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The financial statements must be based upon the association’s total annual revenues, as follows:

1.An association with total annual revenues of $100,000 or more, but less than $200,000, shall prepare compiled financial statements.

2.An association with total annual revenues of at least $200,000, but less than $400,000, shall prepare reviewed financial statements.

3.An association with total annual revenues of $400,000 or more shall prepare audited financial statements.

(b)1.An association with total annual revenues of less than $100,000 shall prepare a report of cash receipts and expenditures.

2.An association that operates fewer than 75 units, regardless of the association’s annual revenues, shall prepare a report of cash receipts and expenditures in lieu of financial statements required by paragraph (a).

3.A report of cash receipts and disbursements must disclose the amount of receipts by accounts and receipt classifications and the amount of expenses by accounts and expense classifications, including, but not limited to, the following, as applicable: costs for security, professional and management fees and expenses, taxes, costs for recreation facilities, expenses for refuse collection and utility services, expenses for lawn care, costs for building maintenance and repair, insurance costs, administration and salary expenses, and reserves accumulated and expended for capital expenditures, deferred maintenance, and any other category for which the association maintains reserves.

(c)An association may prepare, without a meeting of or approval by the unit owners:

1.Compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statements, if the association is required to prepare a report of cash receipts and expenditures;

2.Reviewed or audited financial statements, if the association is required to prepare compiled financial statements; or

3.Audited financial statements if the association is required to prepare reviewed financial statements.

(d)If approved by a majority of the voting interests present at a properly called meeting of the association, an association may prepare:

1.A report of cash receipts and expenditures in lieu of a compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statement;

2.A report of cash receipts and expenditures or a compiled financial statement in lieu of a reviewed or audited financial statement; or

3.A report of cash receipts and expenditures, a compiled financial statement, or a reviewed financial statement in lieu of an audited financial statement.

Such meeting and approval must occur before the end of the fiscal year and is effective only for the fiscal year in which the vote is taken, except that the approval may also be effective for the following fiscal year. With respect to an association to which the developer has not turned over control of the association, all unit owners, including the developer, may vote on issues related to the preparation of financial reports for the first 2 fiscal years of the association’s operation, beginning with the fiscal year in which the declaration is recorded. Thereafter, all unit owners except the developer may vote on such issues until control is turned over to the association by the developer. Any audit or review prepared under this section shall be paid for by the developer if done before turnover of control of the association. An association may not waive the financial reporting requirements of this section for more than 3 consecutive years.