Obtain details of association's loan
Q: A few years past, our board borrowed funds to pay for a renovation. They include in our fees a share of the monthly payment to repay the loan. They will not let us prepay the loan to save the interest. The board will not provide the members the details or schedule of the loan. Some of us would like to prepay to reduce our monthly fees. What is our recourse?
A: Each type of association has a list of Official Records in its specific statute that lists the records that are available for the members to review on request. I suggest that you send a certified letter requesting to view the bank loan documents. If you want copies, the board has a right to charge a copy cost for each page. I can understand the board's decision not to allow prepayments. As to the members prepaying, it would be a difficult accounting situation to have some members paying one fee and others paying another fee.
Condo fee structure set in documents
Q: How are condominium maintenance fees determined? I have a condominium in Illinois that is alongside a golf course and we pay a higher fee than those units on the street side. Do I have a legal stance to request the maintenance fee be changed to an equal fee or maybe based on a square footage? I know this is about Illinois but would it be the same in Florida?
A: There is not a right way, correct way, easy way, or any way to calculate fees fairly. It is dependent upon the developer and how he set up the declaration and documents. Since the fee percentage is listed in your declaration of documents and on your deed, you and the other owners agreed to the fee percentage when you closed on your unit. It is also listed on your deed that you accepted when you closed on your unit. There are several ways for the developer to fix the fees. It may be based on location, square footage, number of bedrooms, or an equal share or percentage. While I am not aware of the laws of Illinois, the bases of condominium title and ownership are similar. Title to a condominium includes a share or percentage of the common area and that is the percentage used to calculate your fees. To change the percentage would take 100 percent of the members to approve the change.