Special Assessments

With talk of special assessments floating around many HOAs this summer.

This blog explores what special assessments are and when and why homeowners might experience one.

Yellow Flowers

There are many reasons why special assessments may be required of homeowners in HOAs. It could be weather related: major roof repair or replacement due to wind or hail, flooding of basements or downed trees that must be replaced. It could have to do with structural integrity of buildings: failing decks or siding or any number of related issues. It could even have to do with maintenance, such as larger-than-expected painting jobs, for example.

Oftentimes, these assessments come as a surprise. A large painting job, using that example, would typically be budgeted for. However, if the scope of the job was larger than expected, there may be the need to assess each owner in the community an amount to cover the extra costs. Of course, it is hard to financially plan for damage from weather events. The point is, there are sometimes unforeseen situations that demand additional funds to cure.

Special assessments are usually split among all homeowners in an association. Some may ask: “Why me? The building I live in has not suffered any damage.” While it is true that damage to less than all buildings in an HOA may be causing a special assessment, the bill cannot simply be split only amongst directly affected owners. Just like all members pay equally for the maintenance of the common areas, such as landscaping and pools, and even some utilities (water, for example), they must too pay together for the maintenance of HOA buildings, which are common elements. The general rule is that all parts of HOA residential buildings outside of the interior walls of individual units are common elements. This means that even if the balconies are falling of the building across the parking lot from yours, and yours are fine, you are financially responsible for theirs, as well as all common elements on the property, because in a homeowners association, all of the owners are equally responsible.

To learn more, feel free to give CAP Management a call at (303) 832-2971.