L.R. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Hi! Our Association just sent us a letter notifying us of a special assessment (to be paid in one lump sum or spread out over 6 months) to cover snow removal and roof raking for last winter’s record snowfall. I am a new unit owner who purchased at the end of February — subsequently at the END of the winter season. I don’t feel as though I should have to pay this additional snow removal fee (only the roof raking portion since that service actually occurred when I actually owned the unit) I feel as though I’m getting hit twice since I had to pay a private plow agency for services where I previously resided (rented). Am I justified in asking for a reduction?
Mister Condo replies:
L.R., I am sorry to inform you that you are not likely justified in asking for a reduction in your special assessment. Condominiums that don’t budget properly find themselves needing to levy special assessments for all sorts of reasons. Breaking the snow removal budget is just one more of those reasons. The rules regarding special assessments are fairly simple. The unit owner of record at the time of the assessment is the unit owner responsible for the assessment. In this case, the delayed issuance of the special assessment finds you owning the unit when the assessment was levied which means you are on the hook for the whole amount. Ideally, the Board would have issued the Special Assessment before you purchased your unit but it is not uncommon for Boards to wait until the end of the snow season to determine just how short they were in their snow removal budget. The fact that you paid for snow removal in your previous home does not factor into the equation at all. You might want to suggest to the Board that they increase the line item in the budget for snow removal so you and future unit owners don’t get hit with a special assessment each winter season. All the best!