HOAleader.com provides practical advice on homeowner and condominium association management, laws, rules, insurance, finances, reserves, dues, liens, assessments, dispute resolution, and more.HOAleader.com provides practical advice on homeowner and condominium association management, laws, rules, insurance, finances, reserves, dues, liens, assessments, dispute resolution, and more.
HomeBrowse by TopicDiscussion ForumResearchSearchMember Log-in
Sign up for the FREE
Tip of the Week
Free Newsletter
Discussion Forum
Follow on Twitter
 RSS Feed
New Headlines
Most Popular
Special Reports
Vendor Directory
Join HOAleader.com
Members-Only Home
Group Discounts
Renew Membership
About HOAleader.com
HOA Vendors
Our Guarantee
Text Size
Contact Us
Your Privacy
Published by Plain-English Media, LLC

Guard Your HOA's Membership List Carefully

August 2010
Printer-Friendly Format

If an owner or someone else asks to see your association's member list, can you say no? If your state requires that you provide members your list, can you redact some information? Are there restrictions on how members can use the list?

To answer those questions for your association, you'll need to review your own state's law and your governing documents. Here's how a sampling of states address the issue.

California—"All members can view the membership list, but no outsiders can," says Sharon Glenn Pratt, a principal at Pratt & Associates in Campbell, Calif., who advises many homeowners associations. "It should include the owners' name, the property address, and the mailing address."

However, members can opt out of providing their name and address and tell the association they want to be contacted through alternative procedures, says Robert M. DeNichilo, an attorney at DeNichilo & Lindsley LLP in Irvine, Calif., who specializes in representing community associations.

"If an owner requests it, the list must be supplied as long as the member states the purpose and that purpose is reasonably related to his interest as a member," says Pratt. "But there are restrictions on how members can use the list. If they misuse it for commercial reasons or the association has reason to believe they're going to misuse it, they can restrict the use. If it's to be used for another purpose, the association may deny access to the list. If the association doesn't want to give the list to the member, the association has the burden of proving the member was going to use it for an improper purpose."

Associations often deny members' access to the list. "A member may ask for the list and give you a stated reason, but you're aware of facts that show their reason for accessing the list isn't related to their interest as a member," explains DeNichilo. "Maybe you know a member is a contractor, and while he's saying he wants to discuss an upcoming election, you have reason to believe what he really wants to do is prepare a mailing or sell a list to another contractor. Generally, we'll tell the person, 'Give us what you want to mail out, and we'll mail it for you.' If it's a marketing piece, we wouldn't send it out."

New York—"Owners are entitled to a list of names and addresses of members, nothing more," says Marc Andrew Landis, a partner at Phillips Nizer LLP in New York City who advises associations and co-ops and is a member of the executive board of the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums. "The use is restricted to the affairs of the co-op or association and can't be used for private purposes, such as marketing."

North Carolina—"We have a specific state statute that governs this issue," says Michael S. Hunter, an attorney and partner at Horack Talley in Charlotte, N.C., who represents more than 500 community associations. "Under North Carolina law, the homeowner's association membership list may not be used for any purpose unrelated to member's interest as a member. Then it names specific examples: It can't use it for solicitations, nor for any commercial purpose, and it can't be sold or purchased."

The statute doesn't specify what information must be kept on an association's member list. "It's whatever information the association keeps," says Hunter. "That's often the member's name and address and sometimes the phone number and email address."

Printer-Friendly Format
·  Discussion Forum Follow-Up: Online Document Access
·  A Sex Offender Has Moved Into Your HOA ... What Now?
·  Publishing Delinquent Owners' Names: Shame on You?

 Free White Papers

HOA Finances:
Best Practices for Getting Your Homeowners Association through Difficult Economic Times

Download now »

Advertising Information
Dispute Resolution
Facilities & Maintenance
Financial Matters
HOA Elections
HOA Governance
HOA Insurance
HOA Reserves
HOA Rules
Human Resources
Legal Compliance
Security & Safety
HOA Glossary
Complete Topic List

 Discussion Forum
Recent Forum Posts
· HOA responsibility for water hammer
· Public disclosure of delinquent fee condo owners
· Members-At-Large
· HOAleader.com on-demand webinars
· election of board
· Lawyer's fee
· HELP We are past our rejuvenation period
· Licensed Contractors And Workman's Compensation
· Counting Election Results
· Liability Umbrella Policy for HOA
· Parking Violation
· Who Pays For What In A Condominium?
· Common Area
· HO-6 Homeowner's Insurance
· HOA Board President
Search Discussion


Here's what our readers
are saying ...


"Your news and ideas have been a Godsend and so helpful, you can't imagine... Thanks for everything."

Saundra Ragona
Quail Ridge Owners' Association

"We really appreciate your publication. It's as if you had a spy at our meetings and over hear our gripes :). Keep up the good work."

Cynthia Ramnarace
Palmer's Landing HOA

"This is a great service."

Mark R. Benson
Past Chairman of the Florida Community Association Living Study Council
Past Member of the Regulatory Council of Community Association Managers
Past Vice-Chairman of the Advisory Council on Condominiums County Court Mediator

"I am a newly elect President of a small (10 units) HOA / Condo, and I am learning the business almost from scratch ... Thanks for your very valuable information."

Volodymyr (Vlad) Boryshpolov
1102 Avenue X HOA

"Thanks for all your great HOA tips! I am a new Board Secretary—your site is truly worth signing up for!"

Kathie Norris
Whispering Pines West HOA