This information can include budgets, official records, by-laws, articles of incorporation.. etc...
While many members of the Home Owners Association will not take the time to read these items, it is very important to do so. Why would you be a member in something that you have know idea how it helps you, or what is going on? After all, you are paying to be in the association anyway. Why not get your moneys worth.
One trend that is popping up over the last few years is charging for these types of records that are given to the Homeowners by the management company. Typically the homeowners are given a copy of these documents at closing, but many people don't know those documents come at a price.
While every management company is different, it is very typical for a company to charge very large sums of money for the documents. Some times these fee's are spelled out on websites or on cost sheets, but many times they aren't.
When you are looking into a management company, make sure you ask about pricing for items like this. After all, since the records of the association are supposed to be available to you, is it fair to charge you over $100 in order to get a copy of them, and where is that money going? Have you asked for a breakdown of the expenses and why it costs so much?
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