Q: The manager of our homeowners association recently received a request from an owner to inspect the association’s official records. As a board member, I was troubled to learn that our accounting records are maintained by a bookkeeping firm in Miami. Our community is located in Bonita Springs.
A: This may seem troubling, but the association may not necessarily be breaking the law. Pursuant to Florida law, the association’s official records, including its accounting books and records, must be made available to a homeowner within 45 miles of the community or within the county in which the association is located. If your community is in Bonita Springs, the storage of accounting records in Miami could be a problem. However, the association can comply with the law by making the records available to a homeowner electronically via the Internet or by allowing the records to be viewed in electronic format on a computer screen and printed upon request. Provided that your homeowners can access the accounting records online at the association’s local office in Bonita Springs, I would not be too concerned that the physical records are kept in Miami