Association Costs. Associations may charge members for the direct and actual cost of printing/copying and redacting documents. However, associations may not charge a fee that exceeds the amount necessary to defray the costs for which it is levied. (Civ. Code § 5600.) Also, the association must inform the member of the cost before copying the requested documents. (Civ. Code § 5205(f), (g).)
Management Costs. If the copying is done by the association's management company, fees charged by the company for pulling records from storage and copying them can be passed on to the requesting party. This would apply to electronic records as well as paper records. Expenses incurred by the company searching for records and burning them to a disc can be passed on to the requesting party.
Redacting Costs Capped. The cost to redact sensitive information from records is capped and cannot be charged to members beyond the amount set by statute.
Custody and Control. During the inspection process, records remain under the custody and control of the association's managing agent. Members do not have a right to remove, alter or destroy corporate records.
Charging Directors. See "Director's Right to Inspect."
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