Condo Unit Owner Seeking Refund of “Unused” Common Fees Upon Sale of Unit

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R.G. from Litchfield County writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

We live in a small condo complex. One unit owner is selling his unit. He has been a very ineffective President of the condo Association since its conception. He claims that the gardener did not complete his work and we have a few things that have not been done (ie. Power washing, tree trimming etc.) to date so he should get his HOA fees returned because there will be a surplus in funds when he moves. We say, sorry, once that money is deposited it belongs to the Association. You don’t get a refund! Please advise. It seems ludicrous to us!

Mister Condo replies:

R.G., ludicrous, indeed! Regardless of how effective this unit owner was as condo association president, unit owner contributions to the common fund are not refundable when the unit owner moves. I am a bit unclear as to your use of the word “deposited” but monthly common fees are the lifeblood of any condominium. They pay for everything from insurance to maintenance to Reserve Fund contributions to management fees and more. They are not a deposit to an individual unit owner’s account. They are deposited to the association’s bank account to be used as budgeted and voted upon at the annual meeting by all unit owners and by the Board of Directors at Board meetings throughout the year. A unit owner who served as president should most certainly know that.

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