M.H. from Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Can condo fees in CT increase a second time during the year in order to meet the approved budget?
Mister Condo replies:
M.H., it would be most unusual for common fees to change mid-year unless the membership had previously voted to do so at the annual meeting. However, from a practical standpoint, if the association found itself lacking funds and in dire need of additional money to operate, a special assessment could be voted and levied to make ends meet and allow the association to meet its financial obligations. Many condominiums are limited to a percentage (15%) increase in fees from year to year. If the fees were adjusted mid-year, they would still have to follow the formula of total fee increase from the previous year. Either way, the association is in jeopardy of any unit owner challenging the fee increase. My guess is that if it were taken to court, the association would not prevail. Of course, if the money is needed, that would only leave a special assessment or, perhaps, an HOA loan to allow the association to meet its financial obligations. You didn’t mention why the increase was needed. I am hearing from more and more associations that COVID-19 unemployment is leading to more delinquencies within associations. If that is the case here, your Board would be wise to devise a strategy for dealing with increased delinquency until the pandemic passes and employment return to pre-pandemic levels. All the best!