P.P. from Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our condo association is planning to pave all the pavement and carports next summer. Not all unit owners own a carport. Each carport is owned individually and has a separate deed. The condo association will be getting the funds through an assessment of owners. My question is should the area that is paved in the carports be paid by each carport owner or should this be paid by all the unit owners even if they do not have a carport.
Mister Condo replies:
P.P., if the carports and the pavement beneath them is not property of the association, i.e. deeded as you state, the association should not be paying for the pavement without billing back the individual unit owners of the carports. Association-owned roads, parking lots, etc. should be paved and the money should come from the Reserve Fund or other fund that was built using the percentage of unit ownership formula. They are commonly owned and for the benefit of all unit owners. However, if your association documents do not specifically spell out the ownership and maintenance of the pavement as a unit owner responsibility, a case could be made for having the association foot the entire bill. This is where association attorneys often earn they keep as they decipher and decode the governance documents as it relates to such matters. Take a good look at your condo docs and see what they have to say about the maintenance of the asphalt in deeded or limited common areas. If it says the unit owners are responsible, then there may be no need for further inquiry. If it is silent on the subject, you will likely have a controversy and possible need for a legal opinion to make sure it is handled correctly per your documents and state and local law. I hope you enjoy your freshly paved roads!