Ups and Downs of Condo Elevator Special Assessment

S.P. from New Jersey writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

I just received word that there is a planned assessment being prepared to repair 1 of the 2 elevators in my building. The assessment payment schedule is spread out over 5 months and if you can’t pay it you are being told to finance the loan. The assessment has not been presented to the owners and was approved only by the 4 board members. Can this be challenged?

Mister Condo replies:

S.P., as long as the rules for levying a special assessment were followed, challenging the special assessment will likely be unfruitful. 4 of 5 board members constitutes a majority so if the rules for passing a special assessment for your association state a majority vote of the Board members is all that is required, then I don’t see where you have grounds for a challenge. Check your condo governing documents to determine if the rules were followed. You might also wish to seek a legal opinion for a more legal response than what I can provide here. However, if those elevators need repairing and enough money has not been saved, there will be a special assessment necessary to make the repair. Challenging the method of assessment may delay the assessment but it will still come eventually, and the association might even need more money to defend against a legal challenge to the assessment. Good luck!

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