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Understanding assessments under California condominium law

On Behalf of | Jul 30, 2021 | Real Estate Law |

People who have purchased a condominium in California should understand the importance and details of assessments for its upkeep and improvement. However, they might not know the full scope as to what it means. The recent tragic events in Florida in which an entire condominium collapsed should serve as a wakeup call to people everywhere who own a condominium and the implied needs regarding costs. There are certain costs that are limited under the law. Others are not limited when it comes to an emergency as, in retrospect, was the case in Florida. Property owners should be current on what costs might be assessed as part of the agreement.

Assessments are a fundamental part of owning a condominium

California law details how assessments are handled by a condominium association. There are reasons for which assessments can be imposed and collected and it is limited by the cost. If repairs and maintenance are necessary, then the owners cannot be asked to pay more than its cost. There are limits based on the annual budget except in situations when there is an emergency that requires the extraordinary expense.

The court can order these extraordinary expenses to be part of the assessment. Examples of when this can happen is if there is a danger to the safety of the residents and repairs and maintenance must be done to avoid that. With some projects, it is a choice that must be voted on, negotiated and agreed to by the residents. Others are based on keeping residents safe. To meet this threshold of extraordinary expense, it cannot have been reasonable foreseen when the board formulated its budget. Before this assessment can be collected, the board will provide findings in written form as to why the extraordinary expenses must be paid. The residents will receive copies of this along with the notice of the assessment.

Concerns over condominium issues require professional advice

Owning a condominium has great benefits for people who want a nice place to live and amenities while sharing in the costs of upkeep with other owners. However, there can be unexpected costs that might arise and disagreements with the association that oversees it. This can be a confusing and challenging area of real estate law. When concerned about condominium issues related to bylaws and rights, it is useful to have experienced advice to seek a reasonable solution for safety, security and a positive outcome.