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Should new condo owner be responsible for back assessment legal fees?

Posted on Sat, Oct 25, 2014 @ 07:00 AM
  
  
  
  
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My husband and I recently went into a contract for a condo unit in Chicago. It was a messy foreclosure that Freddie Mac owned. We recently received the condo assessment letter from the condo association, telling us that we will need $12,567 due at closing! Our attorney told us we would have to pay the six months of back assessments, which we are fine with. However, $9,700 is for ‘Legal Fees – Collections’.

When the invoices finally came, it's clear that a majority of the ‘Legal Fees – Collections’ are for appearances in court. We are under the impression that we should not be responsible for them. The following are examples of invoice charges: appearance; preparing correspondence to client ($355), prepare for plantiff's jury; prepare plaintiff's statement of the case and jury instructions ($470). Are we liable for the $9,700 even if majority of invoices are for appearances in court? These invoices date back to 2008!

4 Comments Click here to read/write comments

Should condo association board be responsible for grounds repairs?

Posted on Fri, Oct 24, 2014 @ 07:00 AM
  
  
  
  
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I live in a Connecticut condo association. Pests are becoming a problem by digging holes around the outside of my unit close to the foundation. While previous boards have assisted owners in eliminating this problem, the current board has responded that they are not responsible to continue the practices that previous boards had implemented.

Further, there are severe drainage problems, resulting in the washing away of mulch every time it is added to the outside of the unit. I have live here 25 years and not once has fill or grass been added to the grounds. However, our documents include maintenance of the outside of units. I am also concerned that the grading in the front is so poor that it may result in a serious water problem in my basement. The Board is aware of the situation but unfortunately do not feel it is a priority.

How do I get the Board to act on these issues? Our present Board has been good about solving problems but in the past we have had bad experiences which developed into financial problems. I would appreciate any advice or assistance on this situation.

I am grateful for the COA. Please continue your great communication to us condo owners! Thank you.

3 Comments Click here to read/write comments

Condo unit window repairs and questions around assessment fees

Posted on Thu, Oct 23, 2014 @ 07:00 AM
  
  
  
  
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My Florida condo association board is currently planning to raise quarterly dues approximately $260-300 to pay for windows down the road. How much can they raise monthly assessment fees before they are required to take a homeowner vote? Further, wouldn't it be more beneficial for the owners if this building maintenance cost were classified as a special assessment?

7 Comments Click here to read/write comments

Condo unit tenants to be served breach of contract. Is info public?

Posted on Wed, Oct 22, 2014 @ 07:00 AM
  
  
  
  
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I live in an Illinois condo association that also has rental units. A new rental tenant with four kids – a twelve-, eight-, four-, and two-year-old – recently moved in. This tenant is month-to-month renter (a bank owns the property, but is not making assessment payments, so they let the HOA rent out the unit on a month-to-month basis.)The parents don't seem to be able to keep the kids from running, jumping, and stomping in their rental unit, which goes on just about all day long.

I initially spoke with the parents and they said they would take care of the problem, but they have not and the situation has worsened. I then spoke with the HOA president and also the condo association manager about the matter. It was decided that a meeting should be held with the renter to go over the condo rules and regulations to ensure they were aware of the noise provisions rule.  In an effort to prevent continued violation of the condo noise provisions rule, a first floor unit was even offered, but the tenant refused stating that they didn’t want to move and that they wanted to stay in their current unit. 

I informed the HOA president and condo association manager that the tenants are continuing to cause a disturbance and affect our quality of life.  I was asked by the mother at one point – what do we expect from kids? – and was then told I had to get used to it.  They can’t have it both ways at our expense, and am under the assumption that this puts them in direct violation of the condo rules and regulations, especially since they had refused the offer to relocate to a first floor unit.

The HOA president and condo association manager said the matter was referred to our condo association lawyer, who was to send a notice for "breach of contract" to the rental tenant by a special server. I contacted the office a few days later to get an update and they stated the server came but the tenants were not at home. What is the procedure for a special server to serve notices to a particular person? Do they have to serve the person face-to-face? Do they use certified or registered mail to serve? How often and how long does it take to serve a particular person? Can I request copies of any correspondence on this matter? I'm thinking of moving, but thought I'd get some more knowledgeable views on this. Does anyone have experience with or insight into a matter like this?  Any thoughts and/or opinions would be greatly appreciated.

24 Comments Click here to read/write comments

Condo unit parking questions and concerns

Posted on Tue, Oct 21, 2014 @ 07:00 AM
  
  
  
  
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Our condo association property manager maintains that there are no assigned parking spaces in our community, which has led to parking anarchy. Some residents have requested signage that reserves their parking space (they do not say "handicapped”, only "reserved.") The plat for my condo (downloaded from the county recorder of deeds) indicates by number that my condo has a specific parking space. Does this mean that space is deeded to me, or is it just an assigned common element for my exclusive use? Can it be taken away? Can I use it exclusively and prevent others from parking there? Since vehicle size has changed since 1985 when units were built, can the association redraw the parking spaces to make them bigger to accommodate the influx of extended cab trucks and large vans used as family vehicles?

Sorry for all the questions but this apparently is a thorny issue.

4 Comments Click here to read/write comments

Condo unit speed bump height damages car. Who should be responsible?

Posted on Mon, Oct 20, 2014 @ 07:00 AM
  
  
  
  
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Our condo association had a construction company put in speed bumps on the road coming into our complex during the second week of September. We made arrangements during the construction period to stay in our second home in another city 105 miles from the condo. We left our 2001 Volvo S80 in the garage at the condo complex, and drove our Cadillac to our other home. When we returned to the condo, all the speed bumps had been put in and the blacktop had been seal coated. The speed bumps appeared to be very high, and were painted a bright yellow. Our Cadillac was able to barely cross the speed bumps without scraping. The following day we used our Volvo to leave through another condo complex exit gate so we didn't have to cross the speed bumps. We went to pick up our 9 and 4 year old granddaughters and return to our condo unit. Upon returning we had to come through our complex entry gate, because we don't have a number to come through the neighboring gate. We had to cross three new speed bumps that caused $1,400 in damage to our Volvo.

We notified the condo association management company right away and were told to send estimates and pictures, which we did. We also notified our insurance company who sent out an inspector to evaluate the damage. On the following Monday, the condo association had the same construction company remove the 4 to 5 inch speed bumps and replace them with 3 inch speed bumps. We filed a claim with our insurance company, and they have paid the claim minus our deductible. On Monday we went to the HOA board of directors meeting where we were told they are not liable for any damage, and would not let us talk because they were taking up board business and we can only observe and have no input. They passed a motion to not pay for any damage to our vehicle and quickly moved on to other business. The people who ordered the construction company to put in the speed bumps are the HOA president and treasurer, both elderly women who are unqualified and inexperienced to tell the road workers how to do their job. So they called the property manager and had him call the construction company and order them to make the speed bumps 5 inches high.

We were able to talk to the workers when they were removing the original speed bumps and replacing them with 3 inch bumps. They also told us that they had warned the HOA directors that they were asking for problems and they were called to come back and replace the speed bumps due to all the complaints. At this point our Volvo is in the body shop after the mechanic shop put in replacement motor mounts that broke going over the original speed bumps. Now we hear from the body shop that more damage has been uncovered. We talked to the insurance inspector, and he says he will make sure the car is repaired. Why doesn't the condo association have to pay for the damage since they had the speed bumps put in at a height they were advised not to?

13 Comments Click here to read/write comments

Own condo, but can't make assessment payments. What can the HOA do?

Posted on Sun, Oct 19, 2014 @ 07:00 AM
  
  
  
  
condo assessment fees past due

What if I own my condo free and clear, but can't pay my condo assessment fees. If I fall behind, say 8-12 months, how can the HOA collect the assessments? I live in Illinois.

11 Comments Click here to read/write comments

Condo insurance claim and confusion over proof of loss

Posted on Sat, Oct 18, 2014 @ 07:00 AM
  
  
  
  
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My question is in regard to proof of loss when one files a condo insurance claim. I live in a duplex; my neighbor and I are side-by-side and we each have our own driveway. The units are considered condos but it's just the two of us so we don't have an official condo association because it would only be three members.

An accident occurred on my driveway this past July, totaling my cars and damaging my driveway. I've filed the claim with our condo insurance master policy. It's been quite a process, between the adjuster and insurance company. Trying to figure out who is supposed to sign what has me at a loss at times. I had signed the proof of loss, but soon after the adjuster didn't know who to address the check to! I had to call the bank and they knew more than the adjuster. Now he's telling me that my neighbor and I must both sign the proof of loss, and that the previous proof was rejected. The neighbor’s name is on the master policy but we both pay for the policy and I was told it didn't matter whose name is listed. The adjuster also mentioned that I would have to pay for the deductible, but the insurance company is telling me just the opposite, that the other party is responsible.

The process is confusing at times and I’m just wondering if anyone has insight into this matter.  Thanks for the opportunity to blog my concerns!

6 Comments Click here to read/write comments

Florida condo association BOD eligibility with past conviction?

Posted on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 @ 07:00 AM
  
  
  
  
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Is a person eligible to become a member of a Florida condo association board of directors if they have a past criminal conviction in Florida that is 20 or 30 years old?

5 Comments Click here to read/write comments

Change in condo assessment fees raises back assessment questions

Posted on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 @ 07:00 AM
  
  
  
  
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My condo association has an owner who has been overpaying his condo assessment fees for 16 years. There was an unofficial change to the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R) stating that everyone would pay the same fee regardless of ownership since the difference was/is negligible for all units except the only one bedroom.

Does my condo association owe the one bedroom unit for all back assessments? Is the unofficial amendment (not filed with the clerk), voted on by the board long ago valid? Is there a statute of limitations for back assessment? He hasn't paid in 9 months and this issue needs to be resolved.

7 Comments Click here to read/write comments

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