Major Special Assessment Leaves New Condo Owner Shocked!

K.R. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

Owners have just been hit with a $650,000.00+- assessment at our condo. We bought just before this was announced. There was nothing in the minutes to indicate that there was anything wrong with the building. We were given approximately 1 month to come up with anywhere from $25 – $30K, depending on the size of units. Now, some owners have been served with foreclosure notices. What do we do?

Mister Condo replies:

K.R., this is an unfortunate situation to say the least. I have to assume you did not have access to any association records that would have indicated this special assessment was about to be levied before you made your purchase. Special assessments are not generally issued without some type of warning but unit owners of record when the special assessment is levied are responsible for their share of the special assessment. In your case, that looks like a very substantial amount of money. In response to your question of “what do we do?”, all I can tell you is that you must pay the special assessment or face the same consequences as other unit owners who are unable to pay, which is the association taking action against the unit owners that may culminate in a foreclosure. You may wish to get in touch with the attorney that you used for closing on the condo, and make sure there was nothing missed during the closing that might allow you to pursue the previous unit owner. This is unusual but since it is such a large sum of money, it might be worthwhile, especially since the levy of assessment came so close to your closing date. You can also check to see that the special assessment was levied in accordance with the association’s governance documents. This won’t stop the special assessment but it could delay the process if the assessment were levied without the proper notification to unit owners. I am sorry for your troubles but this is a risk when purchasing into any association. Good luck!

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