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Condo owners oppossed to association board's special assessment

Posted on Thu, Apr 07, 2011 @ 06:19 AM

We have a condo in New Jersey. We were notified last year that a special assessment would be required to make repairs to the common decking areas. The engineering firm that was hired by the condo board did a study of the problem and the board assessed each unit owner so as to have the repair work done based on the dollar amount that the hired contractor said it would cost. We received a financial statement and noted that not all special assessments were collected.

Now we are being told that further monies would be needed to pay for the repairs including enhancing repairs that the board wishes to have done. Note, these additional repairs have not been listed as mandatory and the association members were not given the opportunity to vote on any of this. The board has refused to answer our written requests sent via email on why we were not allowed to vote on this added "probably doubling and quite possibly tripling the original special assessment amount." We have requested the names and the unit numbers of those who have not even paid the first special assessment and the board members continue to ignore our request for this info. They had promised to file liens against those who have not paid the first assessment and this has never taken place to date. Do we as condo associate. Members in good standing and having all that has been requested from us paid in full, do we not have the right legally to receive info on who has not paid and also the unit numbers of those who have not paid? We were not asked to vote on this.

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It is usual for the Board to have the authority to impose special assessments without a vote of members, your by-laws should cover this. In most States owners have a Statutory right to inspect the Association's records, this would include the financial records. 
I have read many of your blogs and it is clear there has been a breakdown in your relationship with the Board (who I assume are trying their best). This cannot be in the interests of the Association, why no work on trying to restore the relationship and support the Board in their efforts? 

posted @ Thursday, April 07, 2011 7:42 AM by TonyD

Review yopur by;aws for pertinent informastion on assessments and then download and do the same with the NJ Condominium Act. This will establish your legal position in this duispute with your board.

posted @ Thursday, April 07, 2011 9:07 AM by Scott

I am in NJ also. For a special assessment read your by-laws for the percentage of votes required to pass. Ours is 2/3 members in good standing. They can impose an emergency assessment at their will. As for seeing a list of delinquent owners, yes they MUST supply it although I have asked for it many times and they refuse. I'm inserting a website, I hope you can access it. http://www.njlawblog.com/2010/08/articles/community-associations/the-top-five-ways-condominiums-get-into-trouble/ 
If not, it'swww.njlawblog.com look for the listing on the left for condominiums. This is a very useful site. Judi

posted @ Thursday, April 07, 2011 10:24 AM by Judi

Boards must follow the association's governing docs and protocols for assessements,, etc can be identified therein to see if the board has acted outside the scope of their authority (I'm sure their intent is for the best interest of the association). Appears to be lack of communication between the members and board which is the essential ingredient for a successful community.  

posted @ Thursday, April 07, 2011 11:46 AM by Edward S. Frank, cmca, ams, pcam


posted @ Thursday, April 07, 2011 2:43 PM by zamir margalit

You poor thing, you must have the same corrupt wicked management company we have who happens to have the worse reputation in the state of New Jersey. Our HOA president and possibly some other members of the board, the PM and her husband's management company have been replacing upscale items in our condos, even some that they are making us pay for and ones we love and want to keep and they do this by having the lawyer for our condo lie in writing to the DCA about the credentials of the expert who recommends having the replacement done. In this case, they had the DCA believe the expert is an engineer instead of a person with a degree in Zoology. Now the HOA pres. & PM get away with replacing our great upscales items with the cheapest ones on the market and hiring an uninsured person to do the job and all because an unethical lawyer lies in writing to the DCA. I've been told by window people that our original skylights are probably being resold as the roofer told me that he sold all the copper flashing that our skylights had. 
I am the only one who didn't pay for the cheap replacement skylights because one skylight in my living room leaked all over my cherry wood furniture that I worked double shifts for a while as an RN to buy and not one person from the condo board, the PM, the mgm. company or a claims adjuster from the condo insurance came to see the damage and my items are worth alot more than the $3,000 they want for the defective skylights.  
The HOA president was only interested in saving himself and he had that same lawyer put a lien on my condo for about double the amount of the skylights and them being defective and ruining my furniture never entered his mind and yet this HOA pres. has a job that has to do with the lives of many people. The para legal for the lawyer who was filing the lien on my condo told me that her boss, the lawyer told the board that the skylights were defective and they still wanted a lien put on my property. Is this even legal when a lawyer knows something is defective and should not have a lien on it to do it anyway or is this lawyer loving to do this to make money. I should ask him for a cut of the money he made because of all the letters the PM had him write to me. Beside being defective, the new skylights are against the 2 different bylaws. There should have been a vote on this roof and skylight project as it cost over $40,000 but no vote was ever taken and the skylights had to be replaced according to our bylaws with ones of equal or great value and no one make the ones with the no wash outside feature unless you get them custom made.  
Beside the nerve to put a lien on my condo for defective items, the lawyer for the condo also filed a summons with the court so that neither my daughter nor I would be allowed to speak to any of the contractors. The board has done such horrible things that anyone ethical would be horrified by thier actions; yet the PM bragged about some things that I wouldn't ever repeat to anyone if I were her and I am not kidding about horrible things that no one would ever tell anyone else. Money has been take for fines when fines should never have been charged in amounts of $500 a day and we never saw the money at all. We never see anything written out because this is an easy way for the PM to cover her tracks of repairing bad contractors work by paying other contractors to do it. I can't believe the owner of this company married someone who doesn't know that ethics are supposed to be followed and not gone against. I haven't been out of my home expect for a monthly doctor appointment as the stress this HOA & Pm put me through has paralyzed me as I have a disability. Our HOA president thinks it is a good idea to spend the condo's money putting a summons out so that my daughter and I will not talk to the contractors when most of the letters attached to the summons which make us look like a pain in the neck are fake letters that a boss got his workers to write. Don't judges who decide things ask for phone records instead of just believing horrible corrupt people who try to get away with doing bad things to good people. I believe what our HOA president, the PM and her husband's company are doing are not only against the bylaws but criminal as they are extorting money from good honest people and they pick the oldest weakest one to do it to. Just in case you are near central N.J. and want to go in on a great lawyer, possibly you can contact me through this sight. There has to be a way to stop all of this horrible behavior that could make some people really ill. Do you believe the PM got someone in the Health Dept. to issue a warrant for my arrest over a dog license. I was moving so I didn't renew the license and honestly without a warning, a warrant for my arrest was sent to me in the mail and the PM was the one to call them about my dog's license and I know she met the Health Dept. person before that warrant was put out for my arrest. These people are wicked! 
Many wishes for your success in getting your problems solved. You can contract the Dept. of Community Affairs and ask for alternative dispute and you are entitled to all records.

posted @ Thursday, April 07, 2011 8:53 PM by Chilly

May I suggest that when you reply you keep on the question that was raised. Additing in similar diffioculties at a different condominium just confuse all the participantsd. If you wish to chat about your individual problem open a new subject.

posted @ Saturday, April 09, 2011 7:47 AM by Scott

Dear Scott, I think we have chatted before on a different blog, (the one with the 'nutso' poster) 
Here is my question, Scott: Prty Mgt and Board, through engineer, have decided to 'replace', from Replacment Fund..no Reserve Fund, ALL asphalt in 128 unit complex.  
Driving around parking lots, it truly seems only 5 parking lots need replacement. (Each unit building holds 8 condos) 
This is what prpty mgt with whom dictates to board and all but, Director of Board questions, who has confided in me for help..I am not on the board, but have been instrumental with many issues. 
Engineer at board meeting stating ALL Units have to be done NOW with 
comment of oil prices rising. 
Board Funding options to be sent to Unit Owners: 
1.) Financing thru Proprty Mgt company. I am concerned if we follow this as then it would seem we were locked into this same property mgt for five years. (This property mgmt company is the worst, at best) If we didn't follow this plan, we could let them go within a month's notice. 
2.) Increasing condo fees each year 5% for five years. Ex: now $290/mo, 2012,$305, 2013, $320, etc. There is no guarantee that the condo fees would continue to increase after the 5 yr. period. 
3.) Special Assessment for each unit owner, $250/yr broken up quarterly of semi-annually for five years. I happen to feel this may be the best option, however, prprty mgmt is opposed to this, as some condo owners are remiss in paying this and propty mgmt has to go after them. (I understand their thinking)  
Yet, truly, with a condo fee increase yearly, who is say the same won't happen with condo owners 
being remiss. In addition, I believe with the recurring condo fee increase, the 'condo market' 
will be un-attractable to sellers and buyers of this condo complex. 
As a side bar, the Board/Prpty Mgmt. has not yet sent out bids for doing this project. How can they propose these funding options without basing it on the dollar amount from bids. 
Will be attending Board meeting on April 27. 
Any advice, thoughts, comments, questions would be very helpful. 
Many Thanks, 

posted @ Saturday, April 09, 2011 9:02 AM by Melinda W.

Question - why do you need to replace all lots at once? Did they all happen to be built all at the same time?  
While there are practical consideration to do all at once, consider replacement over a period of time (a few years) to make the project more affordable in these tough economic times. Once specs are drafted for the project and hard numbers are received, try and negotiate with the vendors for a long term contract with provisions for scale of increase based on cost of asphalt index. Maybe you get the contractor to patch a few lots to get you through the next few season while replacements are phased in.

posted @ Saturday, April 09, 2011 9:38 AM by Edward S. Frank, cmca, ams, pcam

Your post is not an answer to the p[roblem that was posed by the originator of this blog. While your experience is somewhat similar it should notn be posted here. Doing so merely confuse3s the bliog readers. If you wish to discuyss your own situation please open a new blog questyion.

posted @ Wednesday, June 08, 2011 11:31 AM by Charles Adler

A board can call for an emergency assessment without the members voting on it. When the pot is dry  
you need to do the next best thing. 
Also NO you do not have the right to know who the people are that is behind or who owes back dues or assessments. This is their privacy 
and they can sue the board for any leakage. Would you want anyone to know that you are having a hardship or that you owe the association money? Well then I don't think they want it all known either. Get on the board and you can find out what needs to be done to bring your association up to par.

posted @ Friday, June 17, 2011 8:28 PM by s

Super Slim...POST ELSEWHERE!Apparently you're weight loss was all from your brain! REMOVE post! NO ADVERTISING!!! READ USER AGREEMENT!

posted @ Wednesday, July 13, 2011 6:01 AM by MSW

You should peruse your condo bylaws and the NJ State Condominium Act. These documents will establish the perogatiove of the Board ans well as the Council Of Unit owners in adopting thhe budget and any assessments. Basically unit owners have to viote their approval to spend condo funds--whatever their source budget line item or assessment.When you viote on this repaving project if you feel that only li9mitedb areas need to be repaired vote no. Yhat is your perogative.

posted @ Wednesday, July 13, 2011 6:45 AM by Scott

I just want to make a quick response to "S" whoever that is. In NJ you have every right as a condo owner to know who the delinquents are. I'm paying for those delinquents. In our complex if you have tried to make arrangements because of a hardship you are not put on the delinquent list. Which is the way it should be. Unfortunately, we have people in our complex that owe thousands and are taken to court time after time. Yes I want to know who I'm paying my hard earned money for. 

posted @ Wednesday, July 13, 2011 12:10 PM by judi

This is a great site. I really like it. Thank you for the site. May God bless you in all your works.

posted @ Friday, August 19, 2011 8:42 PM by The North Face Clearance

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