F.D. from Dare County, North Carolina writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our HOA has 5 buildings (all duplexes). Each building has a 2 BR and a 3 BR unit. The 3 BR is larger in size and has a higher tax value. Our association pays insurance on the buildings and the cost is assessed equally among the homeowners. Can we do an amendment to the documents to correct this inequity?
Mister Condo replies:
F.D., yes and no. As long as you follow the rules for amending your documents, you might be able to change the formulas in place for how common fees are assessed. However, doing so is no easy task and is rarely accomplished for the simple reason that a supermajority or 100% vote in favor of the document change would likely be required. As you can imagine, the unit owners who benefit the most from this arrangement will never vote in favor of it, thus ending the discussion. If it is any consolation, consider what is actually being insured. The association owns the building exteriors. The difference in exterior size of a two- or three- bedroom unit isn’t likely all that much in the event of a disaster and rebuild. The savings on the insurance is likely negligible in the short term and not all that substantial in the long term. At the end of the day, the common fee structure was known to all who purchased into the association. It is quite likely to stay intact as is. All the best!