With summer around the corner, it’s time to start spring cleaning! Before the pool parties and barbeques begin, now is a great time to make sure your community documents are “spic and span” for the rest of 2019.
Record keeping is important for communities when settling disputes, but there are also legal and financial requirements for maintaining records. While it may seem like a daunting task, we have a few tips on what you should focus on to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your board’s efforts.
Get Yourself Organized
How would you currently describe your community’s document organization system? If “organized chaos” comes to mind, you’re certainly not alone! First thing’s first – get your documents organized. While there’s no wrong or right method to organization, we suggest grouping documents by category and then separating each category by subsection based on your state’s document retention schedule.
Within each category, group by retention schedule:
• Permanent Records
• Retain for 7 years
• Retain for 5 years
• Retain for 1 year
Declutter the Docs
Decluttering your community documents is a great place to start. Before the shredding begins, evaluate your state’s statutes on the records community associations are required to maintain and how long you need to keep them. Next, double check your own community’s governing documents to determine if there are any rules or requirements for keeping records.
While every state differs, here are a few of the records we recommend your community hang on to permanently:
- Meeting Minutes & Notices
– Board Meetings
– Executive Session Meetings
– Membership Meetings
– Committee Meetings
- Enabling Documents (original & amended)
– Articles of Incorporation
- Developer Disclosure Statements
- Title Insurance Policies
- Annual Tax Documents
– Corporate Tax Returns
– Annual CPA Prepared Financial Statements
- Annual General Ledgers
- Issuance of Tax ID Number
- Building Drawings
– Details of Building Additions or Modifications
- Major Component Listings
– Specifications and Measurements
- Architectural Requests documents
- Approvals and denials of Architectural Change Requests
- Notice of violations of Architectural Controls
Let’s Get Digital
Are your governing documents still in a rusty file cabinet? While some states require you have printed copies of some community documents, that doesn’t apply to everything. Save some trees and avoid paper cuts by storing documents ONLINE. Not only will online document storage streamline processes for your board, it also adds convenience for your residents when accessing these documents. Additionally, states like Florida now require certain records be made available to residents at all times online – via website or web portal.
ComWeb offers the perfect storage solution with HomePAGE CMS Document Libraries. Now you can organize all your community documents in one, easily accessible place! These libraries can also be restricted by role – enabling documents to be viewable by the public, just residents, or just board members. With document management and owner access controls, residents can easily access community documents anytime online and managers can ensure sensitive information is being accessed by only assigned users.