K.D. from Hartford County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Can the condo association force an owner to pay an assessment without providing the owners a copy of the bill?
Mister Condo replies:
K.D., if the association has done work that is specific to your unit and not a part of the common elements then they certainly have the ability to bill the unit owner for the specific work that was done. I can think of a few situations where this can occur. Something like power washing of decks may be purchased in bulk for all unit owners with decks and then billed to individual unit owners if they are the owners of the decks. In that situation, there may not be a specific bill for the individual deck that was power washed so there would be no specific bill to provide. That being said, as a unit owner, you have the right to inspect any bills of the association so you could request to inspect the contract for the power washing to see what was charged for the entire project and then do the math to see how your share of the bill was arrived at. For instance, if 100 decks were power washed for $10,000.00 and you were billed $100, it would appear that all is in order.
Even if you had a far different situation such as the association taking action against you for allowing your unit to fall into disrepair with broken windows, doors, or such and they then brought the unit into architectural compliance by hiring a contractor to do thousands of dollars of work and sending you an assessment to pay for that work, the same principal would apply. They are not under any obligation to provide you with a copy of the bill but you still have a right to inspect the association records. Keep in mind that you may need to pay a fee to do so, which is perfectly legal and allowable under state law. The fee for record inspection is for the time that the record keeper needs to spend with you for producing the record and/or making copies of the record for you. Unless you are questioning the dollar amount of the assessment, I think my advice would be to pay it and trust that you were billed the correct amount. All the best!