Of the many responsibilities a managing agent has to fulfill for a homeowners association, one of their most vital is coordinating the flow of information between the board and the association members, and keeping that information secure. That adds up—even in a small association, there's a lot of paperwork to handle, including financial records, legal documents, homeowner correspondence and management statements from board meetings—and it's important that the documents be available to board members when needed. The flow of information between the managing agent and board is a vital part of their relationship.
Usually, this cooperation isn't a problem. Most co-op and condo boards enjoy positive, collaborative relationships with their managing agents, and information flows easily between them for a smooth day-to-day routine.
Your Place, or Mine?
All association members are entitled to view certain documents, so it's up to the management company to get the proper information to them in a timely and organized manner. Because the system works so well, not all co-ops and condos feel the need to keep copies of the records on their premises. While it's up to the managing agent to keep this material in a safe and organized fashion, sometimes copies of the paperwork will be held in a small office in the building or by the board members themselves, so that in case of an emergency—physical or procedural—there's always a copy of important documents safe somewhere.
Such is the case for Patricia Allegretta, a board president in North Bergen, who says she keeps copies of everything that her HOA's managing agent has.
"I get all records, and I keep them all in a storage closet," Allegretta says. "There is nothing that I don't see, whether it be financial records, bills for each month, insurance paperwork, any time the fire department comes or people check the boiler—anything when it comes to work done around property. All of that."