Under Arizona law, owners are able to inspect and have copies of a large portion of an association’s books and records. And, that is a good thing! Associations should be transparent and welcome owners to take a look at things more carefully.

Arizona law provides clear direction on what owners can and cannot see under a records request. Under A.R.S. 33–1805 and A.R.S. 33–1258, all financial and other records of the association must be made reasonably available for examination by any member or any person designated by the member in writing as the member’s representative. Books and records kept by or on behalf of the association and the board may be withheld from disclosure to the extent that the portion withheld relates to any of the following:

  1. Privileged communication between an attorney for the association and the association;
  2. Pending litigation;
  3. Meeting minutes or other records of a session of an executive session board meeting;
  4. Personal, health or financial records of an individual member of the association, an individual employee of the association or an individual employee of a contractor for the association; and,
  5. Records relating to the job performance of, compensation of, health records of or specific complaints against an individual employee of the association or an individual employee of a contractor of the association who works under the direction of the association.

An association cannot charge a member for making books and records available for review, but can charge $.15 per page for copies of records requested. An association has 10 business days from the date of receipt of a request by an owner or an owner’s designated agent to make the records available or to provide copies of the requested records.

An association cannot charge a member for making books and records available for review. However, the association can charge 15 cents per page for copies of records. An association has ten (10) business days from submittal of a written request by an owner or an owner’s designated agent to make records or copies of the requested records available.

Now, let’s switch gears and talk about the boxes and boxes of association records sitting in dust in your garages or offices. Hopefully, your association is in the process of digitalizing it’s records to save space and to have the association’s “history” at it’s fingertips.

Here are some association records associations should keep forever:

· Associations governing documents such as CCRs, articles of incorporation, bylaws, rules and regulations, deeds, architectural guidelines, easements, contracts, minutes and board resolutions

And, here are some records an association may only want to keep for 7 years (because the time period that the association can be sued will have expired by this time):

· Financial records
· Records related to former employees (with the exception of medical records)
· Expired contracts
· Old leases
· Insurance records
· Accident reports and settled insurance claims

Mulcahy Law Firm, P.C. is here to help! If your association has questions on owner’s records requests or how long to keep its corporate records, please contact Beth Mulcahy, Esq. at bmulcahy@mulcahylawfirm.com. Lastly, we encourage you to read our Mulcahy Law Firm, P.C. Cheat Sheet entitled, Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Community Association Law, where we address a variety of other important topics!