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How can I stop our condo association's ongoing special assessments?

Posted on Tue, May 11, 2010 @ 06:35 AM
  
  
  
  

special assessmentsI have lived in a 17 unit condo building for 3 years. Over the past 10 months we have incurred a special assessment to cover the rebuilding of our back porches to be updated to Chicago's required code. I recently found out that we are being given another special assessment to cover an overdue utility bill and several tenants are afraid that they will no longer be able to afford their assessments. I also recently found out that several unit owners are not paying their assessments at all. Is there anything that can be done to retrieve this money from the non-paying owners and also to stop the condo association board from approving ridiculous increases to monthly assessments?

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COMMENTS

First of all, the association should be aggressively pursuing collection actions against the non payin gunit owners--it is unfair to hjave all other owners subsidizing them. 
 
The special assessments is another issue-you state that one was for code violations and the other was for utility charges. Since the condominium assoication is not the federal government, its only source for payment of these essential services is to assess unit owners whether that be by increased annual assessments,special assessments or in some cases, borrowing form a lender.

posted @ Tuesday, May 11, 2010 7:19 AM by Stephen Marcus


In a 17 unit association you did not say how much each unit holder is paying now. Second you need to go over the financial report (if there is one) and find out what bills you are now paying and the amounts. Then figure out what your yearly take in is and then do the math. Next those that are not paying should not be left go no longer than 3 months and then you need to file a lien and charges on them for the back money they owe (payment plans are always worked out) And now we will talk about a utility bill! Why! isn't this being paid from the condo fees? 
 
Now go get a petition going with the other owners and call for a special meeting with the BOD and ask your questions there. Assessments are only needed when there is not enough money to cover the situtation, namely resurfacing a parking lot, new windows, outside of building painting and large items that are costly. Sounds like your BOD do not know how to handle this 17 units. All of the above I have just encountered with our 15 unit and when I pulled a petition, you best better believe that I got a response to the BOD. I hope this clears up some of your questions, but my dear you need to set the BOD staright or you will be paying another assestment. Gather up your members and don't be afraid to fight back the BOD. This is your money they are playing with and you deserve some answers. GOOD LUCK! Also you can search the internet, it helped me a great deal, but don't stop here, now get moving!

posted @ Tuesday, May 11, 2010 9:37 AM by


Our BOD found a law called the Business Judgement Rule that bypasses any vote by the association on a million dollar project to replace all 30 balconies. The engineers said only 4 need to be replaced but they all live in corner units and the two penthouses they stand to gain the most. We all have to pay 33,000 dollars without any sayso.There are some who will not pay and the rest will have to pay for theirs as I understand it. This business judgement rule lets all BOD"s do what they want and the rest of us have no recourse. the petition fell on deaf ears. There are many other future plans they have for us for assessments. This doesn seem right. The first floor is the ceiling of the garage and will not be replaced but we have to pay anyway. Help!!!!

posted @ Tuesday, May 11, 2010 12:05 PM by Lloyd Short


My first comment should have read all the Board of directors live in the penthouses and corner units.

posted @ Tuesday, May 11, 2010 12:07 PM by Lloyd short


I live in the chicagoland area and also live in a Condo/Townhouse... I know our association does FORCIABLE ENTRY AND DETAINERS on owners 30 days over due and the judge grants a pay or quit immediatley we have had many.... and guess what PEOPLE PAY TO STAY... Our association is the worest in the county and quite possibly in all of IL. We have had special assetments, crime, corruption and there is no help out there.. IL has no regulation except the IL CONDO ACT. Which in our case has been ruled in favor time and time ago over the BYLAWS<DEC AND DEED! We had 24 decks that needed code repair last summer and this summer. The Association Ins paid... UNDER BUILDER DEFECT even thou the city passed 7 builds 24 units out of code thats alil more then a simple mistake! Our buildings have water inflitration problems and the neighbors like to brawl... I am raising a 4 year old and pregnant again and I have no intentions on staying here or EVER buying in a COA/HOA EVER AGAIN! The law in IL inpowers these associations. My Aunt is the lawyer that wrote the dec/deed/bylaws and he husband rep'd me in court and we still LOST!! We are reciving special TAX assessments that I CAN"T PAY! GOOD LUCK TO YOU I WOULD BE INTERESTED TO HEAR HOW THIS TURNS OUT!!!

posted @ Tuesday, May 11, 2010 7:51 PM by amanda


Lloyd, 
 
 
 
You are confused about the business judgment rule. It is a rule that is used by judges to determine if the board acted responsibly. The business judgment rule simply means that the board acted in the same manner in which any HOA board would act under the same circumstances. 
 
 
 
Regarding the million dollar project to replace balconies, if your CCRs do not require a vote of the members for major repairs then the board has not acted wrong. Some HOAs may require a vote of the members if the project exceeds a certain amount of money. CHeck your CCRs to determine if the board has acted wrong or not.  
 
 
 
The $33,000 you are being charged sounds like a special assessment. In most instances the members must vote on a special assessment. So you should also check your CCRs to determine if a member vote is required for this special assessment.

posted @ Wednesday, May 12, 2010 5:23 PM by Mary


the IL Condo Act only requires 2/3rds of the BOD to vote on special assessments not the community. FYI

posted @ Wednesday, May 12, 2010 5:58 PM by amanda


Thank you Amanda for taking the time to reply. Our CCRs say anything over $1000 needs a majority vote. That is when their lawyer replied back with this business judgement rule. Only 4 out of 30 need replaced. This is putting a serious financial burden on some of the owners and they are facing foreclosure. Our BOD will not listen to any other viable proposals that have been put to them. One Board member resigned because of this. He had a very good plan.Replace 4 and repail the rest. The damage is minimal over all according to the engineers report.The Fl. ombudsman said he has calls concerning this rule every day. He said we need a new board because the judges are ruling in favor of the Board of directors all over Fl. Thankyou again Amamda

posted @ Wednesday, May 12, 2010 8:40 PM by nancy


How old our your buildings? He is right that is happeneing all over the judges rule in favor of the BOD. I understand we are in the same boat we have 52 units and over half have or are still in F/C.. If I had a special assessment like that GAME OVER I would never be able to afford it. FL has a regulation board for this type of stuff.. I have a friend in the community that lived in FL for years in Condo... I will see if I can get info from her regarding this matter.. Some how I got you and Lloyd confused on this post... Lloyd is from IL.. Sorry about that..

posted @ Thursday, May 13, 2010 9:35 AM by amanda


I clearly got this confused with an IL blog question sorry everyone.. :(((

posted @ Thursday, May 13, 2010 11:23 AM by amanda


What methods are available for a Homeowners Association for collecting dues on units where owners have stopped paying? Our Association has put liens on the properties, but a few of the units have gone into foreclosure. Should the HOA hire a collection Agency? Are there any other suggestions? 
Thanks, 
Donna South Carolina

posted @ Thursday, June 10, 2010 8:28 AM by Donna


Last year our condo association was assessed to pay the dues and electric bills of a unit that was in foreclosure. The bank has settled and the unit has now been sold. Our board has decided, instead of reimbursing each unit owner their money, they are going to put the money toward one month of our dues, without asking our approval. Those who have pre paid for the whole year, will have to deduct from the first month dues in 2011.  
 
It was my understanding a reimbursement of assessment money was to be given back to owners, or put into a special assessment reserve, to be used toward other assessments. 
 
Can the board assess unit owners for the purpose of balancing the budget?

posted @ Wednesday, June 30, 2010 7:00 AM by Pete


Pete, 
 
 
 
It sounds to me what your BOD did was really a special assessment. Most community docs require the members to vote on a special assessment. However, since the BOD has decided to credit each members' account with one months assessment, I really don't see what the problem is. You can choose to pay your next months assessment or not and your account will still be current. IMO, the BOD has the right to determine how they think it best to apply this money.  
 
 
 
If your docs require the members to vote on a special assessment, the BOD should be cautioned to think twice before doing this again! Many HOAs have started adding a "bad debts" line item to their budget to account for uncollectible delinquencies due to foreclosure.

posted @ Friday, July 02, 2010 9:19 AM by mary


My Association sent the unit owners a letter on June 10, 2011 by the US Postal Service.. It states that we needed to repair their balconies by August 1, 2011. many repaired or started repairs on their balconies. On June 28, 2011 a posting went out (posting was put in building lobbies) stating that there would be a meeting on June 30, 2011 regarding the balconies. No letters went out to off-site owners even though the June 10 letter was sent to me via the USPO. The meeting allegedly resulted in a special assessment of $2000.00 to repair all balconies, those with no balconies were excluded. Now many are stuck for their repairs and why are non-balcony owners exempt? If they are calling these common elements then they should pay the assessment as well.  
 
If the Board has decided to treat the balconies as a Common Element, rather than the correct Limited 
Common Element, then you need to assess ALL unit owners, not just those with balconies. For 
clarification, I own both types of units-with and without balcony. 
While I completely agree that the balconies are sorely in need of repairs or replacement, you are placing.

posted @ Wednesday, July 27, 2011 11:16 AM by Richard


Richard, 
 
 
 
Is there a section in your CCRs that deals with parcel assessments that are only assessed to the member who benefits by the assessment? In your case, that would be only the members with balconies. 
 
Now, what about the member who've already repaired or started to repair their balconies? I would think they should not be included in the special assessment. But, I can't help but wonder why they did their own repair. Either the assn is resp. for repairing the balconies or the member is resp. That would outlined in your CCRs. It can't be both!! 
 
Also, was there a vote on this special assessment?

posted @ Wednesday, July 27, 2011 2:31 PM by mary


Read through your contract - it might highlight some valuable points. Create awareness and get people in your building to join your cause. It's all about having some leverage during discussions... good luck!

posted @ Tuesday, July 10, 2012 3:27 PM by Groperty


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