Your Almost-Absolute Right to Inspect HOA Records

Arizona law is clear on the subject of your HOA's records -- as a member of the HOA, you have the right to inspect and copy any and all association records. Meeting minutes, financial records, bank statements, vendor's contracts, bills, invoices, checks, voting records...just about anything!

The statutes say that "all financial and other records of the association shall be made reasonably available for examination by any member or any person designated by the member in writing as the member's representative." Although the association can charge you "not more than fifteen cents per page," the statutes make it clear that it cannot charge you "for making material available for review." The association "shall have ten business days to fulfill a request for examination" or "to provide copies of the requested records."

There are just five limited exceptions to your right to inspect:

  1. Privileged communications between an attorney for the association and the association (note: engagement letters and attorney invoices are rarely considered by courts to be "privileged");
  2. Pending litigation;
  3. Meeting minutes from closed, executive sessions (note: many boards improperly hold closed meetings to discuss matters that should be discussed in open meetings);
  4. Personal, health or financial records of a member or employee; and
  5. Records relating to job performance, compensation of, health records of or specific complaints against an employee.

So why do so many boards of directors refuse to turn over documents? What are they hiding and why?