Condo Elevator Replacement Causes Special Assessment for First Floor Residents

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M.J. from California writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

Quick question for you from California. Living in a condo building that needs a new elevator at some point in the future. The HOA wants to make a special assessment for the new elevator. Do the people living on the first floor have to pay for this special assessment, considering they don’t need to use the elevator?

Mister Condo replies:

M.J., generally speaking, yes, all unit owners contribute to the elevator repair, upkeep, and replacement if needed. The reason or this is that the elevator is most likely a common element of the entire condominium association and listed as such in the governance documents. Also in those documents is the percentage of unit ownership formula that dictates how expenses are allocated per unit. This includes your common fees and extraordinary expenses causing special assessments. As long as all of those conditions are true, and I’m betting they are, all unit owners will be subject to the special assessment for the elevator replacement. I’ve always said that condo ownership has its ups and downs. Here it is quite literally true! Good luck!

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