L.M. from Hartford County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our condo association has decided to allow antennas and dishes outside the units. In doing so, they require a deposit of $150 to cover any damage when you sell. They are putting this money in with other funds and using the money. Should the money be put in an escrow interest bearing account. This is a 55+ community, most leave here due to death or a nursing facility for assistance.
Mister Condo replies:
L.M., the term “deposit” would indicate that the condo owner making the deposit has an expectation of someday getting the deposit back if they sell their unit and there is no damage. It would follow that these funds be set aside and earmarked for either eventual return or to handle damage done to the roof from the antenna installation. That being said, it is a relatively small amount so the idea of creating a special interest-bearing account doesn’t sound too practical. The reality is that the $150 deposit is a small token of good faith that the antenna will not damage the roof. If and when a unit owner sells and/or has the antenna removed the condo association will need to determine if there is any damage, if so, how much the expense of the repair will be and how much, if any, of the $150 deposit will be returned. It is very likely there will be little to no money returned and that the removal of an attorney will require a small repair to the roof. I would prefer to see the association earmark this money and not mix it in with their operating fund so that the money is available if/when needed. However, since it is such a small dollar amount, I don’t think there is too much to worry about. All the best!