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Do we have to settle for assessment hikes?


This question is submitted by Barbara M. out of ME. 

I purchased a condo in Maine seven years ago. Each year the association dues would increase and I did not question this and assumed the board knew what they were doing as had been the case with other associations I'd been part of in the past. When I eventually asked to see the financials I realized there was close to $60,000 in the account for our small 7 unit condo association that was built in 2008. One of the first owners had been running everything with nobody questioning anything he did. I was elected to the board as vice president 4 years ago and had to fight very hard with this board member trying to explain to him that he can't request increases just based on his feelings and there is a responsibility where other peoples money is concerned. I put together a forecast based on numbers showing why the previous fee hikes shouldn't have been made and there was a vote to bring the fees back to an adequate amount. Since then this same board member has been worried that we need to raise the fees again and we still have $60,000 in the account. I have tried to explain to him fee increases have to be based on numbers not his feelings that annual increases are just a given. He's a great older gentleman but is fretting over this and I can't seem to get through. I do not want to be responsible for breach of fiduciary trust by giving people uneccessary increases. We have the same small budget of expenses every year and with $60,000 in the account and typically a $3,000 excess each year I don't feel it would be proper to ask for another increase. What are the laws for this situation regarding how much should be in the account, increases etc. Thank you.




Answers (13)

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