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Can Your Homeowners Association or Condominium Association Hand Over Your Members' Email Addresses?

Can your HOA or condominium association turn over its members’ email addresses to an outside party?

Remember, an HOA board has a fiduciary obligation to its members. As such, the Board is not authorized to share, distribute or publish private information to the public relating to the members (that is, the owners).

Pursuant to Nebraska Statute §21-19,169, without the HOA’s Board’s consent, a membership list may not be obtained or used by any person for any purpose unrelated to a members’ interest as a member. Further, without the consent of the Board, the membership list may not be used to solicit money, or used for any commercial purpose, or sold to or purchased by any person.

Don’t forget, the Association can’t control how information will be handled once it’s been released, even if the original intent is beneficial. A 3rd party, who now has that information, could make deals with others for advertising purposes or allow the list to go unprotected and accessible to marketers, creditors and others.

Beyond unwanted solicitation, release of such information could jeopardize individuals who might be hiding from a former abusive relationship. Or to help a stranger tap into even more information about the person, making that member vulnerable to harassment, fraud or exploitation. Divulging contact information to 3rd parties also could result, unwittingly, in releasing private ownership information.

I don’t think the Board should ever release information to any party (other than the members themselves). If you have some service (say, a radio station) that wants to send news alerts that the members might be interested in, it would be better to tell the radio station to send those alerts directly to the Association. The Association can then forward those alerts to the members. But block any connection between a 3rd party and the members themselves.