M.W. from North Carolina writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We live in a 9-unit condo association. There are 3 buildings: A, B, and C. Buildings A and B each have 4 units. 2 of these units are UPPER units with approximately 2500 square feet and include 3 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths and 1 and 1/2 stories. The other 2 units are 2 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, LOWER levels with approximately 1900 square feet. Building C is a stand-alone condo unit with approximately 2700 square feet. We own a 2-bedroom 1900 square foot unit. The association was set up with different percentages depending on size with the smaller units having the least. The larger units are now wanting to change the by-laws so that we all own the same percentage and pay the same amounts. We lower units are adamant that this is not fair. YOUR THOUGHTS????? These By-Laws have been in existence from the beginning…. 17 years ago. Thank you!
Mister Condo replies:
M.W., the common fees at many condo associations are determined exactly as yours are using the per-centage of unit ownership formula. Changing the common fee method of determination is legally challenging for most associations and almost never done because it typically involves a 100% positive vote from all unit owners (almost impossible to achieve) and may even involve mortgage holders of the units as they have a vested interest in the amount of common fees paid by their mortgagees. There may be other limiting factors as well, including state law. So, even though there may be an interest in doing so but those who would benefit the most from having their common fees lowered, it is highly unlikely that they will be successful in their attempt to do so. If they try to do it illegally, simply sue them and you should prevail. Keep in mind that I am neither an attorney nor a legal expert in North Carolina Common Interest law so please take my advice as friendly and not legal. Consult with an attorney if you need a legal opinion or representation. All the best!