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Can homeowner association assess owners for damage to other units?

Legal justification will likely surprise some
Published on Feb 2, 2006

DEAR BOB: Last year, in a freak hailstorm, the vinyl siding on some of the townhomes in our complex were severely damaged. The condominium homeowner's insurance policy paid up to its maximum limit, but that wasn't enough. The association then assessed each owner of the other undamaged units $2,400 each. Yet we have over $175,000 still in our reserve funds that should pay for extraordinary expenses like this. The association directors say (1) they already took $100,000 from reserves, and (2) if they take the additional needed funds from the reserves, that would leave us without adequate reserves for emergencies. Can a homeowner association assess undamaged unit owners in this situation? --Inez D. DEAR INEZ: Presuming the special assessment doesn't violate the homeowner association "C C & Rs" (conditions, covenants, and restrictions) or the by-laws, after the vote of the board of directors it appears they had the legal right to levy the $2,400 assessment on each owner. Purchase Bob ...

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