(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), the association may withhold or redact information from the association records if any of the following are true:
(1) The release of the information is reasonably likely to lead to identity theft. For the purposes of this section, “identity theft” means the unauthorized use of another person’s personal identifying information to obtain credit, goods, services, money, or property. Examples of information that may be withheld or redacted pursuant to this paragraph include bank account numbers of members or vendors, social security or tax identification numbers, and check, stock, and credit card numbers.
(2) The release of the information is reasonably likely to lead to fraud in connection with the association.
(3) The information is privileged under law. Examples include documents subject to attorney-client privilege or relating to litigation in which the association is or may become involved, and confidential settlement agreements.
(4) The release of the information is reasonably likely to compromise the privacy of an individual member of the association.
(5) The information contains any of the following:
(A) Records of goods or services provided a la carte to individual members of the association for which the association received monetary consideration other than assessments.
(B) Records of disciplinary actions, collection activities, or payment plans of members other than the member requesting the records.
(C) Any person’s personal identification information, including, without limitation, social security number, tax identification number, driver’s license number, credit card account numbers, bank account number, and bank routing number.
(D) Minutes and other information from executive sessions of the board as described in Article 2 (commencing with Section 4900), except for executed contracts not otherwise privileged. Privileged contracts shall not include contracts for maintenance, management, or legal services.
(E) Personnel records other than the payroll records required to be provided under subdivision (b).
(F) Interior architectural plans, including security features, for individual homes.
(b) Except as provided by the attorney-client privilege, the association may not withhold or redact information concerning the compensation paid to employees, vendors, or contractors. Compensation information for individual employees shall be set forth by job classification or title, not by the employee’s name, social security number, or other personal information.
(c) No association, officer, director, employee, agent, or volunteer of an association shall be liable for damages to a member of the association or any third party as the result of identity theft or other breach of privacy because of the failure to withhold or redact that member’s information under this section unless the failure to withhold or redact the information was intentional, willful, or negligent.
(d) If requested by the requesting member, an association that denies or redacts records shall provide a written explanation specifying the legal basis for withholding or redacting the requested records.
Related Case Law
- Tract No. 7260 Association, Inc. v. Parker
(2017) 10 Cal.App.5th 24
[Membership List; Inspection Denial] A homeowners association (HOA) may restrict a member’s request for access to the HOA’s membership list when the request is for an improper purpose.
- Smith v. Laguna Sur Villas Community Association
(2000) 79 Cal.App.4th 639
[Association Records; Attorney-Client Privilege] A HOA, the corporate entity, is entitled to claim attorney-client privilege for communications between the HOA and its attorneys. The HOA’s members are not the holders of the privilege; rather, the HOA’s Board of Directors is the holder of the privilege.
- Wolf v. CDS Devco
(2010) 185 Cal.App.4th 903
[Director Inspection Rights; Former Director] A director loses his/her broader record-inspection rights upon loss of status as a director.
- Chantiles v. Lake Forest II Master Homeowners Association
(1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 914
[Director Inspection Rights; Privacy] A director’s record inspection rights may be limited by the association’s duty to protect the privacy rights of its members in their voting decisions.
Access to HOA Membership List Must be for a Proper Purpose – Published on HOA Lawyer Blog (April, 2017)