Section 19 of the Illinois Condominium Act discusses the type of records that the Board must maintain and rules related to what records must be provided to a unit owner upon request. This is a recap of the section of the Act to help clarify what is required.
Documents that must be kept by the Board
The following must be maintained by the Board or management company:
1) The association's declaration, bylaws, and plats of survey, and all amendments of these.
2) The rules and regulations of the association, if any.
3) If the association is incorporated as a corporation, the articles of incorporation of the association and all amendments to the articles of incorporation.
4) Minutes of all meetings of the association and its board of managers for the immediately preceding 7 years.
5) All current policies of insurance for the association.
6) All contracts, leases, and other agreements currently in effect to which the association is a party.
7) Current listing of the names, addresses, and weighted vote (percentage of ownership) of all members entitled to vote
8) Ballots and proxies related to ballots for all matters voted on by the members of the association during the preceding 12 months, including but not limited to board member elections.
9) The books and financial records for the association's current and 10 preceding fiscal years, including but not limited to itemized and detailed records of all receipts and expenditures.
What must be provided to a unit owner upon request?
There are two rules that can apply depending on the type of information that is being requested by the owner.
Request Rule #1:
Any member of an association shall have the right to inspect, examine, and make copies of the items listed in 1-5 above, in person or by agent, at any reasonable time or times, at the association's principal office.
The owner must submit a written request to the association's board or management agent, stating the exact records wanted to be examined. The Board must provide access to these items within 30 days.
Any owner who wins a court case forcing the Board to provide the records described in 1-5 above shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees and costs from the association. In short, if the Board fails to provide the requested information within 30 days, and the owner sues the board and wins, the association will need to pay for the owner’s attorney’s fees and costs.
Request Rule #2 :
Any member of an association shall have the right to inspect, examine, and make copies of the items listed in (6), (7), (8), and (9) listed above, in person or by agent, at any reasonable time or times but only for a proper purpose, at the association's principal office.
The owner must submit a written request to the association's board or management agent, stating the exact records sought to be examined and provide a proper purpose for the request. The Board must provide access to these items within 30 days. The burden of proof is upon the owner to establish that his or her request is based on a proper purpose.
*If the association uses secret ballots for board elections, only the ballots need to be provided to the owner upon request.
Any owner who prevails in an enforcement action to compel examination of records described in (6), (7), (8), and (9) above shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees and costs from the association only if the court finds that the board of directors acted in bad faith in denying the member's request.
Costs to the Requesting Owner
The actual cost to the association of retrieving and making the requested records available for inspection and examination shall be charged to the requesting member. If a member requests copies of records, the actual costs to the association of reproducing the records shall also be charged to the requesting member. In short, the Board or management company can charge the owner a reasonable fee for preparing these items.
What does NOT need to be provided to an owner?
Unless otherwise directed by court order, an association does not need to make the following records available for inspection, examination, or copying by its members:
(1) Documents relating to appointment, employment, discipline, or dismissal of association employees;
(2) Documents relating to actions pending against or on behalf of the association or its board of managers in a court or administrative tribunal; (Legal cases)
(3) Documents relating to actions threatened against, or likely to be asserted on behalf of, the association or its board of managers in a court or administrative tribunal;
(4) Documents relating to common expenses or other charges owed by a member other than the requesting member; (Delinquency information) and
(5) Documents provided to an association in connection with the lease, sale, or other transfer of a unit by a member other than the requesting member.