Does the President of a Condo Association have “the rights” to Owner’s email addresses?

By September 15, 2019 September 26th, 2019 Condo & HOA Law

Q: Does the president of a Condo Association have the rights to the email addresses of all its residents for emailing information to the residents? We do not have a community newsletter and the only one who I was told has the rights to all email addresses is the property manager, who is a paid employee of the larger board.

– J. D., Indian River Shores

 

A: An Association cannot mandate that owners provide e-mail addresses to it. However, many owners do voluntarily provide e-mail addresses. Once provided, the e-mail address become official records of the Association. However, unless an owner has provided their e-mail address to the Association and expressly indicated that it is to be used for official communication the e-mail address is not available to owners who request to obtain it.  So, in most cases owner e-mail addresses kept by the Association are used for what is commonly called “casual communication” such as newsletters, updates etc. but traditional mail is used for official communication such as meeting notices, ballots and proxies. Who can utilize the e-mail addresses and for what purpose is a decision of the Board, not the president, or any single Director.  So, unless the Board has authorized the president to send communication to the owners via e mail, he or she does not have any right to do so using email addresses that were given to the Association.

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Richard D. DeBoest, II, Esq. is co-founder and shareholder of the Law firm Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC.  T o ask questions about your issues for future columns, send your inquiry to: question@gadclaw.com.  The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.  The publication of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC or any of our attorneys.  Readers should not act or refrain from acting based upon the information contained in this article without first contacting an attorney, if you have questions about any of the issues raised herein.  The hiring of an attorney is a decision that should not be based solely on advertisements or this column.

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