P.F. from New York writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I live in a condo in NY and we have a special assessment in progress to repair leaks since February of 2014. I have made many attempts to contact the board but they have done nothing to repair my leak. Can I withhold my assessment and maintenance until they make the repair? Please advise.
Mister Condo replies:
P.F., I am sorry that your condo is dealing with multiple leaks and that your unit has not yet been repaired. I am also sorry to learn your association did not have adequate funds on hand to handle the repair and that a special assessment was necessary to raise the funds. You may not withhold paying your special assessment as the association will likely take collection efforts against you which could be quite costly for you. Even though it might seem to you that you are paying for repairs to your unit, that just isn’t the case. Once the assessment is levied, it is due from all unit owners. If it isn’t paid on time, the association can, and likely will, begin collection procedures against any delinquent unit owners. This can include hiring an attorney or collection agency and passing those costs on to you. In the worst cases, it can even include a foreclosure action against unit owners who fail to pay up. You don’t want to add insult to the injury of water damage by not paying your assessment. What you can do is be a squeaky wheel to make sure your unit is repaired in timely fashion. If the process drags out too long, you should speak with an attorney to see if you can sue the association for not making the repair in timely fashion. Those are really your only options. Good luck!