July 15, 2010

Illinois Court Favors Owner in Dispute Over Access to Association Records

Requests to review association records should be taken seriously. In the recent case of Palm v. 2800 Lake Shore Drive Condominium Association, a condominium unit owner in Illinois believed that the board president and the board as a whole were exceeding their authority. The owner asked the association to provide him with records relating to those allegations. The association refused, and the owner responded with a lawsuit. The trial and appellate courts ordered the association to produce the records immediately and to pay the substantial attorney fees incurred by the owner.

Washington law imposes a broad requirement on condominium and homeowners associations to make their records reasonably available to owners and their agents. Homeowners associations also must provide their records to mortgage holders and their agents and avoid releasing the unlisted telephone numbers of owners. If you think that an owner’s request for records goes too far, contact the association’s attorney before refusing to grant it.