Can I withhold a special assessment fee?

I belong to a condo association. Since I moved in 8 years ago, I’ve had drainage issues with my crawl space. It affects my bedrooms, which smell of mustiness. The board finally tried to fix the issue last fall. It didn’t work. Now, they are ignoring me by not returning my calls and avoiding me. Recently, we were notified of a special assessment for the roof, which needs to be replaced. May I withhold that payment stating that I will pay once my drainage issue is fixed? If not, how can I get this problem fixed? A home inspector visited but stated it was not his area of expertise.

Asked on May 19, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

One needs to read all the paperwork here for the condo but I highly doubt that you can hold the fee.  I would instead start an action against the HOA for their failure to deal with the issue, should it be determined to be an issue that they are responsible for fixing.  You can ask the court to pay your maintenance and any assessments in to court rather than to the HOA which will prompt them to get things fixed since they will be losing money until then.  Good luck.


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