Homeowners' associations (HOAs) have the right to impose special assessments and HOA fees on each member of the association to pay for the HOA's operations and maintenance expenses. Assessments can be regular or special, depending on the purpose for which they are made. Assessments are calculated, collected and enforced in the manner required by law and as provided by the HOA's governing documents.
Regular assessments are made to defray expenses related to the ownership, operation, or furnishing of common interests or to the enjoyment of mutual and reciprocal rights of use. For instance, the revenue generated by regular assessments can be used for the repair and maintenance of common property, such as lobbies, community centers, common roofs, parking lots and garages.
Special assessments are made for capital improvements or for other purposes, such as replenishing a reserve condo fund that was spent on unexpected maintenance projects.
The governing documents of the development, such as the declaration of covenants, conditions and restrictions (declaration or CC&Rs) and the condo bylaws, should describe the assessment process, including how much the assessments can be increased aRegular assessments against the units in a common interest development typically must start on the date of the first transfer of a unit from the property's developer or on the first day of the month following the first conveyance of a unit.
Assessments are made according to the schedule indicated in the HOA's bylaws or CC&Rs. The HOA must send or deliver notices of each homeowner's assessment amount to the homeowner. The homeowner then has a specified number of days in which to pay the assessment amount.