Strong laws protect our rights to get documents from local governments. This used to be known as the Open Records Act, and now is called the Public Information Act. See the Texas Government Code 552.001. This currently applies in a very limited way in the Clear Lake area of Harris County. See Texas Government Code 552.036. Others could benefit by extension of this law’s application.
For now, homeowners in subdivisions have rights under Property Code 209.005. The statute’s text provides many details, and they can be made to work. That is, you can get subdivision records, including financial records. Some subdivisions cheat, I know. You are welcome to send details about how your association has hidden this information, and that may help us obtain better laws.
Homeowners in condominiums also have rights to get books and records, under Property Code 82.114(b). There are fewer required details. There is cheating. Again, please send details if you are denied documents, so we can seek better laws.
Please note: not all subdivisions cheat when they are withholding records and other information. Sometimes the law allows them to withhold the information, or to delay, or to impose large charges. That can be a bigger problem than cheating. We need better laws to make sure that all associations make critical information available – and make it available fast and at fair (or no) cost.
For subdivisions and condominiums, the laws are weaker. But they exist.