WHY DO THEY PAY LESS THAN I DO?

By Eric Glazer, Esq.

Published February 10, 2020

 

So why is it that in some condos and HOAs the bigger the unit or the bigger the home does not necessarily mean the bigger the monthly assessment payment?

 

For condominiums built before 1992, the developer was able to create a set of documents where anything goes when it comes to what a particular unit will pay each month toward the condominium assessment.  For example, the documents can say:

 

a.    All units pay equally regardless of size;

b.    The larger units pay more Ė but not based upon any specific criteria;

c.    The larger units pay more based upon a break down by square footage.

d.    Some units will simply pay more than others regardless of size, and some units of the same size will simply pay more than others the same size.

 

In 1992 however The Florida Legislature passed a law that said from now on when a developer builds a condominium, everyoneís monthly assessment will be either:

a.    Everyone paying the same amount; or

b.    Everyoneís payment will be specifically based upon the square footage of the unit. 

 

In other words, no more making some units pay more in assessments than units that are the exact same size.

 

For HOAs, the statute says:

 

720.308 Assessments and charges.ó

(1) ASSESSMENTS.óFor any community created after October 1, 1995, the governing documents must describe the manner in which expenses are shared and specify the memberís proportional share thereof.

(a) Assessments levied pursuant to the annual budget or special assessment must be in the memberís proportional share of expenses as described in the governing document, which share may be different among classes of parcels based upon the state of development thereof, levels of services received by the applicable members, or other relevant factors.

 

Interestingly enough, even though the HOA statute would allow the association to charge some owners more than others (bigger homes and lots more than smaller homes or lots where the association provides more services to the larger lot) I donít believe Iím aware of any HOA where thatís the case.  In an HOA, everyone pays the same no matter how big or small your lot or home is. (If yours is different, please chime in) 

Keep in mind, these payment obligations are not simply in regard to your monthly assessments, but are also used to determine the amount of your special assessments if any.

 

        Itís also interesting to hear some of the arguments that I have heard over the years as to why itís unfair to charge me the same as everyone else.  For example

a.      I live on the first floor, why should I have to contribute to the cost of the elevator or to repair it?

b.     I donít drive a car.  Why should I have to pay to repair the parking lot?

 

Needless to say, these arguments are losers.  Itís one for all, all for one.

 

However, there is one expanse that associations must stop and think about in their budgets because the allocation of that expense can be tricky.  To learn about this however, you will have to read next weekís blog.


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About HOA & Condo Blog

Eric Glazer Eric Glazer graduated from the University of Miami School of Law in 1992 after receiving a B.A. from NYU. He has practiced community association law for more than 2

decades and is the owner of Glazer and Sachs, P.A. a seven attorney law firm with offices in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando and satellite offices in Naples, Fort Myers and Tampa.

 

Since 2009, Eric has been the host of Condo Craze and HOAs, a weekly one hour radio show that airs at noon each Sunday on 850 WFTL.

   

See: www.condocrazeandhoas.com.

   

He is the first attorney in the State of Florida that designed a course that certifies condominium residents as eligible to serve on a condominium Board of Directors and has now certified more than 10,000 Floridians all across the state. He is certified as a Circuit Court Mediator by The Florida Supreme Court and has mediated dozens of disputes between associations and unit owners. Eric also devotes significant time to advancing legislation in the best interest of Florida community association members.


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