Author Topic: Ignorant condo owners donít want to pay special assessment  (Read 2178 times)

frozen

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Ignorant condo owners donít want to pay special assessment
« on: November 05, 2017, 12:52:49 PM »
I live in a condo that needs some significant repairs. We were warned about a year ago to expect a special assessment of ~$3M this year, which would break down to ~$30K per owner, depending on each ownerís share of ownership.  So of course, I have been preparing all year to pay it and have the money set aside.  It it looks like most have not done this.
We have several in the building acting like this assessment is a surprise, and several have banded together to object.
The funniest objection I heard was a woman who retired ~5 years ago with an ending salary of $160K and a pension. She told me, ďI thought at $160K I was doing really well. I just spent so much money!Ē

marty998

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Re: Ignorant condo owners donít want to pay special assessment
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2017, 01:13:13 PM »
Lots of people forget that apartments and condos occasionally need major repairs to the structures, and it's not someone else's problem, it belongs to every owner.

$30k per owner is still quite a large amount all things considered - could your complex take out a loan to cover the structural repairs and then everyone can pay it off in instalments?

frozen

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Re: Ignorant condo owners donít want to pay special assessment
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2017, 01:21:53 PM »
Lots of people forget that apartments and condos occasionally need major repairs to the structures, and it's not someone else's problem, it belongs to every owner.

$30k per owner is still quite a large amount all things considered - could your complex take out a loan to cover the structural repairs and then everyone can pay it off in instalments?
I feel like condos should come with a warning label about possible special assessments.

They were able to get it down to ~20K per owner and allow payments over 1 year, interest free. They also got a bank to offer a group of owners home equity loans at a small discount over the going rate. The problem is, some will not qualify for loans....you need good credit and equity to take out a home equity loan.

As for the association taking out a loan ó they donít want to because if some owners donít pay, or default, or foreclose, we all would be responsible for paying their share back.

paddedhat

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Re: Ignorant condo owners donít want to pay special assessment
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2017, 04:20:05 PM »
I spent about a decade involved with a giant recreational community run by an HOA.  The interesting part is that it was in a region with at least a hundred similar communities, and it was not only extremely well run, but it was run on dues that were half of what similar communities charged. When it comes to property owners, it was absolutely fascinating to see how totally divorced from reality a small minority were. One really common ploy was to "protest" by not paying dues at all, since you only owned an empty building lot, and therefore didn't use the communities amenities, so owed nothing. Apparently the million+ spent annually on everything from road improvements, to security, taxes on common areas, and liability insurance were "amenities" also, and why should you pay your share?

Then it came time for a special assessment. The state was was concerned about the condition of high risk dams, built on private property, and essentially said, if you are the owner of a significant body of water contained by a man-made dam, you will have to have it inspected and certified by a qualified engineer.  Well, the huge dam holding back the 175 acre lake in the community, was in bad shape and needed major repairs. Once again, the HOA did a great job, and found a fund match government grant to cover half of the rebuilding costs, or roughly four million bucks. This left a special assessment of $1000 per property owner, payable in two yearly payments.  As expected, this brought the idiots out in full force. There were arguments, ugly board meetings, and folks who refused to pay. Some of these dolts will be so bent on proving a point that they end up accumulating huge debts due to interest charges and fees, and end up turning a few hundred a year in payments into $5-10K messes. A small handful of them even end up losing properties to sheriff sales.

When it comes to special assessments of tens of thousands of dollars I can't even imagine. Good time to NOT be a board member.

frozen

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Re: Ignorant condo owners donít want to pay special assessment
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2017, 06:19:37 PM »
This left a special assessment of $1000 per property owner, payable in two yearly payments.  As expected, this brought the idiots out in full force. There were arguments, ugly board meetings, and folks who refused to pay. Some of these dolts will be so bent on proving a point that they end up accumulating huge debts due to interest charges and fees, and end up turning a few hundred a year in payments into $5-10K messes. A small handful of them even end up losing properties to sheriff sales.

When it comes to special assessments of tens of thousands of dollars I can't even imagine. Good time to NOT be a board member.

They should have been relieved it was only an assessment of $1000 per owner.

I think one problem we have in our association is a lack of communication between the board and the owners. The board thinks they are communicating and frequently cites information that was communicated at different meetings. The problem is that not everyone is able to attend the meetings. There are minutes posted online, but there is typically a one month delay before they are posted, and then they lack detail.

There is also poor management of expectations from the board. The board should have expected push back from the community and sold people on the need for repairs. The owners share responsibility for not planning ahead for possible special assessments.