T.B. from Dade County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our condo just got hit by the Board with a $1.7M Special Assessment (approximately $10K per unit) to resurface the parking floors. The Board didn’t provide any engineering report or any kind of official inspection to justify this, except “visual inspection by the property manager”, so we are worried that they are addressing cosmetic repairs through a special assessment. In addition to that they don’t have enough reserves so they are going to request a bank loan, that will add another 10% to the costs. Unfortunately, our condo bylaws do not restrict the board powers to approve an assessment so it seems that if they decide something requires it, there is nothing we can do. So, my question is: is there any condition required to prove that a repair has to be done immediately via a special assessment? Can we stop it and request for a proper inspection report? We are not against paying it if it is needed, we are just against the way it is being done.
Mister Condo replies:
T.B., the short answer is “no”. The Board was democratically elected by all unit owners to conduct the business of the association. That includes using their best judgment to make decisions. If they feel the parking surface needs repair for whatever reason, they can take the necessary action to make it so. In this case, they are relying on a visual inspection from the association manager. You can certainly request the Board consider additional factors and ask about an engineering opinion but that doesn’t change the Board’s fundamental right to address the repair and levy a Special Assessment. This is exactly what you elected these folks to do. If you are not happy with their performance, you have the opportunity to vote them out of office at your next election cycle. If you think there is enough disgruntled unit owners to call for a recall of these folks, you need to follow the proper procedure for holding a recall election. Other than that, the Special Assessment will happen and the repairs will be made. All the best!