What are a condo owner’s rights regarding a special assessment for condo repairs?

Our condo association sent us a letter about a special assessment to have the balconies repaired on our condos. They said that we owe them $1,000 to be paid in payments of $250 per month. However, we don’t have a balcony we have a patio. Also, we can’t afford to pay $250 per month. I told them the best we can do right now is to pay $30 per month until it is paid off, and they said we couldn’t do that. I wanted to know if legally they can say we can’t make payments, especially considering we don’t even have a balcony to be repaired?

Asked on September 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Alabama

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You need to carefully read the recorded "covenants, conditions and restrictions" upon your parcel when you acquired it in that they set forth the obligations owed you as a homeowner by the association and vice versa in the absence of conflicitng state law. Most likely the recorded document will set forth allocation of assessments as to the individual parcels in your planned unit development.

If not, then you need to look at any approved rules and regulations by the association that were allowed to be created under the recorded "covenants, conditions & regulations."

I understand your position that you should not be assessed monies by the association to fix something (balconies) that do not come with the unit you own.

Read your recorded "covenants, conditions & regulations" that most likely were in effect when you purchased your unit. I sense that in all likelihood you can be assessed the amount for balcony repair by the association much like an assessment for patio repairs where members of the association would not be happy having to pay this type of an assessement if they have no patios.

 If so, I suggest working on an installment plan to pay down this assessment.

Good luck.


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