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CCOC Decision Summary

#277-O, Williams v. Kenwood Place Condominium (September 29, 1995) (Panel: Bromberg, Blumberg, Fox)

The condominium owner (CO) disputed the right of the condominium association (CA) to charge him copying fees and other costs for inspecting the CA records.

The evidence at the hearing showed that the CO demanded the right to inspect and copy every record belonging to the CA, and that in response, the CA agreed to make the records available for copying at the rate of 20 cents per page, and for inspection at no charge for the first 3 hours, and then at the rate of $30 per hour for time periods exceeding 3 hours.

The hearing panel noted that Section 11-116(c) of the Maryland Condominium Act allows a unit owner, on reasonable advance notice, to inspect the condominium association's records during normal business hours, but it does not state if the association can charge for copying costs or employee time related to the inspection.  The panel also noted that associations are not legally required to have copying machines available, nor was it required by law to provide free copies. Therefore, the panel ruled that the unit owner could either bring his own copying machine and make copies at his own cost, or else it was reasonable for the association to charge him "a normal fee" to make copies for him.  The panel also held that it was reasonable for the association to charge for its time in making records available because it "[balanced] the rights of the individual unit owners to examine the records with the right of all of the other unit owners to have their condominium's on-site manager dedicate her time for the benefit of [all the owners];" and the Bylaws allowed the association's board of directors to regulate the time and manner of access to the records. 

The panel ordered that the fees imposed were reasonable.

[Editor's note: Section 11-116(d) now provides that condominium associations may impose a "reasonable charge" on the person wishing to inspect and copy the books and records.  Section 11-116(c) now provides that records must be made available for inspection within the county where the condominium is located, but not necessarily at the condominium itself.]

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