Knowing condo rules and restrictions is so important! Why even look at a property, much less make an offer, if you know you and the rules aren't compatible? Perhaps you have pets - why look at a condo that doesn't allow them? Perhaps you're in your 30s - why even look at a condo where the residents need to be 55 or older to live there?
Whether you're taking a listing on a condo and want to provide complete information to prospective buyers and agents, or whether you're representing a buyer and tracking down information that wasn't provided by the listing agent, you do need access to that information.
(yes, our contracts do require the owner to furnish these to the buyer who then has 3 days to review them, with the option of terminating the contract - but often a buyer wants to know certain things before he writes an offer and a check)
Some associations make it SO difficult! Some send you to a third party company that provides online documents for $$$ per page. Others won't give out information to a real estate agent.
Some associations make it SO easy! They're the ones that believe in transparency (which is great for current owners and is also great for prospective buyers, who can qualify themselves on whether they'll fit in to the community). One of the best local transparent associations is for the Huntington townhomes, who make them available on line: you can find the rules, the documents, minutes of meetings - it's a treasure trove!
Perhaps you'd be doing your local associations a favor by suggesting this to them, as a means of giving out information and saving money and time in the process. One condo president that I spoke to recently had no idea that this was possible, so is looking into it for his association.
Do be part of the solution ...