I am on the HOA Board of a 144 unit condo community in Palm Springs CA. These condos were originally built as apartments in 1973 and later converted into condos around 2005. For reasons unknown and probably not easily discoverable, out of the 144 parking spaces deeded to owners, there are 24 that are not covered with a carport. We have had very few questions about this shortage of carports through the years.
However, now there are a few residents (spearheaded by one) that are demanding that the HOA provide them with carports over their parking spaces. Their argument is somewhat sound, claiming that they pay the same amount in assessments as those with carports and it is not fair to them that other homeowners are getting an amenity that they are not getting while paying the same assessment amount as those with carports. Even if we had the funds in reserve, (which we do not), it would be a tough call to approve the construction of the 24 carports (Approximately $70,000 to $100,000).
While new buyers are informed of their deeded and designated parking space, it is not disclosed if the space has a carport or not. Therefore it is up to each individual owner to confirm if their space is covered with a carport or not. Many of these buyers assumed without doing their own due diligence that their space would be covered with a carport. Of course they are most unpleasantly surprised after the close of escrow to find out that they are one of the 24 parking spaces without a carport. Most claim that they were misled or outright lied to by their Real Estate Agent. Clearly this is not the responsibility of the HOA. They are now raising their voices with a threat to sue the HOA if we do not comply with their demands.
While the Board is sympathetic to their situation, we do not have the funding to add carports to these spaces. And as stated before, we would be hard pressed to approve the project given that they should have known and understood what they were buying at the time of the purchase.
Is the HOA responsible for installing new carports for this group in order to bring them into parity with those that already have them?
Should the HOA provide this group with discounts on their regular assessments each month?
Short of paying to install new carports, is their any other remedy we could consider?
Or is this simply a case of "Let the buyer beware" and the HOA and carport-less homeowners are all stuck with the situation remaining as is?
Thank you all very much for your opinions and advice....
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