In order to ensure ownership and management of condominiums are legal, legitimate and valid, association documents are often necessary. Some of the stipulations within these files deal with governing matters, correspondence and upkeep.
When becoming part of a condo association and neighborhood, it is important to keep the association documents up to date and handy. Some persons handle the records, and others keep updates on the financials. These papers are crucial in the event of litigation. This means that only the most unnecessary documents should be destroyed after all considerations have been determined about them. Maintenance is important, but various factors must be factored in such as technology issues and glitches. There should always be a backup of the files in case of computer errors and problems with electronic devices.
Storing a mass amount of information and data is easier in the age of technology. However, it is best to ensure the person that maintains these files has knowledge of how to work a computer and what to do if an issue arises where the documents are inaccessible. It may still be necessary to keep paper files for a physical record in addition to online records. An external drive may be helpful for moving the data from one person’s home to another or if there are multiple offices where the information needs to be shared. The degree of access and who should be involved may determine how to maintain these items.
The Importance of Documentation
Condominium association documents are important in a number of ways. However, keeping these files is even more important. The association usually keeps records of newly voted changes, alterations to the condo neighborhood, things that are removed and such matters as dues and legal concerns. Keeping paperwork on these matters is crucial to future potential complications. When the files are lost or destroyed when required, this could lead to severe penalties as well as an obstruction to the case. Lawyers and law enforcement may need these documents to assist in a claim, to sue the condo association or for other reasons tied to legal matters.
If the documents have been stored in a computer, it may be difficult to access them when those that have maintained the system are not computer savvy. This could mean complications in retrieving the correct or applicable file. However, if the person or group has maintained the computer system and moved the files from one location to another successfully, it is vital that they are provided to the legal professional or authority in question. This could be several years after they’ve been stored, or it could be only a few days. Some concerns may take several years to complete, and this could mean a continuous record is accessed or saved until the matter has been finalized.
Legal Matters Concerning Condo Association Documents
If a condo owner or guest has become embroiled in a legal matter while on the premises, he or she may need access to the documents to show he or she was there at the time of the incident. This could prove for or against the person’s case. This means if the person was claimed to have been involved in an assault or similar crime, his presence may be proven through association documents as a registered guest at the time of the illegal act. However, in contrast to this, the paperwork may be in favor of the other legal party proving that he or she was in the condo neighborhood when the aggrieved person was harmed. It is possible that the files could be destroyed by this individual and further work against him or her in the civil or criminal case.
Other governmental agencies may request copies of the files such as the Internal Revenue Service. If the IRS has come to call, this could mean that one of the condo owners has committed tax fraud or other tax crimes. The condo association documents are then used to assist in making the case against the owner of the property. If there is a territory or property dispute, these papers may lead the plaintiff to success in proving that he or she purchased the condo legitimately while the other party may seek a remedy due to a property purchase scam. However, for all of these issues, it is best to have a lawyer to assist with the matter. A legal professional may help in the courtroom, prevent the case from progressing and request the condo association documents for use and assistance in the claim.