On a mission to alter fee percentages
Q: Can you clarify for me how we as owners can challenge the unfair, unequal and higher percentage assigned by the declaration of condominium? Our documents have never been updated or revised since the condominium was established. It seems to me that these percentages were established arbitrarily by the developer. Are these percentages set in stone?
A: Yes, they are set forever unless you can get all owners (100 percent) to agree with changing the percentages. You must remember that when you purchased your unit you agreed to comply with the documents. That meant that you agreed with the percentages and how they were established. There is not one fair way to establish impartial fee percentages. You could say that all owners should pay the same and your neighbor could say all should pay by the size of the unit and others say some another method. The developer may think that the location of a unit has something to do with the value or the number of bedrooms and he established his own method of calculating the percentages, but he was the one who created and approved the method used. You referred to the percentages as unfair. They may be unfair to you while fair to others. Regardless of what method the percentages are calculated, the percentages must total up to 100 percent. Only if you find that the total does not equal 100 percent could they be challenged as a scribers error.
Canceling insurance is a risky move
Q: I have owned my villa for 20 years and have always paid for home and fire insurance. But it has become so expensive that I cannot afford it any longer. I live on Social Security and do not have the funds necessary. Should I drop my insurance or cut other areas?
A: One of my college professors defined insurance as a small loss today to prevent a large, crippling loss in the future. I would not drop any home coverage. You may want to reduce the coverage or increase the deductible. However, I am not an insurance specialist and would suggest you call your insurance agent or maybe another agent and ask how you can reduce the cost. Insurance is important. If you do have a disaster without any coverage, guess what would happen? What would you do then?
Richard White is a licensed community associations manager. Write to him at 6039 Cypress Gardens Blvd., No. 201, Winter Haven, FL 33884-4115. Please include your name and city.