Q&A: Ratting Out a Rule-Breaker

Q&A: Ratting Out a Rule-Breaker

Q. Are there any ramifications against a board member who has disclosed information to an owner (the rule breaker) that another owner has come to them regarding breaking of the rules which has now caused friction and even attempted confrontation towards the owner that reported the violation? The violation reported to this board member resulted in the owner’s car being towed for violating a parking rule. It seems like I’ve read somewhere in the past that board members must keep that type of information confidential and that it’s grounds for immediate resignation from said board member if they don’t abide by that rule.

                                —Condo Confidential 

A. “The information referred to in [this query] is NOT privileged,” says Jennifer Horan, shareholder with the Community Association group at Becker Law. “As a matter of fact, the owner reporting a violation may have to go so far as to testify in formal proceedings as to the violation, so his or her identity is impossible to keep secret. Moreover, if the association in question received a written complaint from an owner regarding a violation of the rules and restrictions, in Florida the written communication would be considered part of the association’s ‘official records’ and must be made available to owners for inspection and review upon written request. It would be very difficult, if not impossible, to keep the record ‘confidential.’” 

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