Should condo HOA fee be based on square footage of unit?

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joe8d
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Re: Should condo HOA fee be based on square footage of unit?

Post by joe8d »

Mine is.
All the Best, | Joe
abner kravitz
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Re: Should condo HOA fee be based on square footage of unit?

Post by abner kravitz »

student wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 6:53 pm
abner kravitz wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 4:10 pm
student wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 3:49 pm
abner kravitz wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 3:31 pm I own a condo where the apportionment of fees was set by the builders in the 70s. Since then, a lot of owners have expanded their units (turning the huge attics into new bedrooms), so we are left with a situation where some owners with now crappy smaller condos are paying $900 per month while some with beautiful and larger condos are paying $600. The people paying the higher fees have more voting power, which is essentially worthless.

It is not a good situation, but the bylaws require 100% support to change it. Will never happen. Life goes on for me, I’m paying the $600. I think equal fees or square footage would be a lot more fair.
Interesting. Were the attics living space before? I wonder whether these need HOA approval.
No, just empty attics with the HVAC units in them. For years no approval was required (incorrectly) to convert the space, but now there is, which has caused more battles. You can renovate the attic, but for legal bedrooms you need additional egress, which requires a skylight, which needs member approval since the outside of the building is changed. Obviously the folks who have been denied permission are not happy.
Thanks for the info. Looks like for those units that were improperly converted, the HOA could play hardball and asks them to revert to original space unless the HOA fee is increased for these units. Of course, I don't know about local laws and your HOA bylaw governing these old conversions.
It’s a tough situation. The parking and amenities (pool, tennis courts) were designed for a certain number of bedrooms, and since many of the units now have at least one and usually two extra bedrooms, there are capacity issues. This is a development that allows short term rentals, which compounds the problem. Not uncommon for 12 people to be shoehorned into what were originally 2 bedroom condos. I rent it out for a good portion of the year, though, so I don’t complain much
student
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Re: Should condo HOA fee be based on square footage of unit?

Post by student »

abner kravitz wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 7:11 am It’s a tough situation. The parking and amenities (pool, tennis courts) were designed for a certain number of bedrooms, and since many of the units now have at least one and usually two extra bedrooms, there are capacity issues. This is a development that allows short term rentals, which compounds the problem. Not uncommon for 12 people to be shoehorned into what were originally 2 bedroom condos. I rent it out for a good portion of the year, though, so I don’t complain much
Are you sure your by-laws allow 12 people in a unit? My condo has rules that at most 4 occupants living in a unit. Are there any local occupancy law?
humblecoder
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Re: Should condo HOA fee be based on square footage of unit?

Post by humblecoder »

neowiser wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 2:37 pm I own a condo in a 10 unit HOA. The units range in size from 1200 sq ft to about 2000 sq ft, some are free standing and others are duplexes. When the association was formed in the 70's the HOA fees were proportional to unit square footage. Several years ago, the owner of the largest unit lobbied to make the monthly fees equal for all units, since many of the monthly expenses (gardening, water) are independent of home size. Special assessments (roofing/painting etc.) are still made according to square footage if warranted. He is also the board president and everyone went along with his suggestion because it seemed reasonable at the time.

Our master insurance policy is paid from our operating expenses and the cost has gone up significantly over the past few years, totaling about $15,000 per year now. The total policy premium is calculated on cost per square foot basis for rebuilding and includes coverage for liability of directors, landscape replacement, building code upgrades etc. Since the total premium is calculated based on our total square footage, I would like to propose that the premium cost be assessed according to square footage of the individual properties.

I discussed this with one owner who argued that we don't know whose unit might need rebuilding in a disaster, so we are sharing risk equally. I'm not sure if this is a valid argument, since our huge annual premium is a guaranteed expense while the loss of a unit is hypothetical and unlikely. Not sure if I should pursue it further.
If it were me, I would not pursue it further.

In an ideal world of fairness, there would be some magically way to properly and fairly apportion the HOA costs based upon the benefit. As you point out in your post, some items are equally beneficially to all, so the cost should be equally shared. Some items benefit others more, so those costs should be born more by those who benefit more.

Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world, and the amount of negotiation that would be needed to come up with a division that is 100% fair to everyone (and, more importantly, that everyone AGREES is 100% fair) would expend so much energy that it hardly seems worthwhile. Once you go down this path, I can see somebody saying "I live on the first floor, so why should I have to pay to maintain an elevator that I don't even use!" Or "My property overlooks a parking lot so why should I have to pay for landscaping that I can't even see". Etc.

Equal HOA dues for all might not be 100% fair. But dues based upon square footage isn't fair either. No matter what you do, some people are going to benefit more and others less. Just accept it and move on. Life is too short to haggle over these pennies at the risk of alienating your neighbors.
abner kravitz
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Re: Should condo HOA fee be based on square footage of unit?

Post by abner kravitz »

student wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 7:52 am
abner kravitz wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 7:11 am It’s a tough situation. The parking and amenities (pool, tennis courts) were designed for a certain number of bedrooms, and since many of the units now have at least one and usually two extra bedrooms, there are capacity issues. This is a development that allows short term rentals, which compounds the problem. Not uncommon for 12 people to be shoehorned into what were originally 2 bedroom condos. I rent it out for a good portion of the year, though, so I don’t complain much
Are you sure your by-laws allow 12 people in a unit? My condo has rules that at most 4 occupants living in a unit. Are there any local occupancy law?
Bylaws are silent on the issue. The Board publishes guidelines, but there is no enforcement. I don’t think the town has explicit rules but that may be changing soon.

I instruct my property manager to follow the guidelines and he is very good, but I live 750 miles away so who really knows.
manuvns
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Re: Should condo HOA fee be based on square footage of unit?

Post by manuvns »

most HOA fees are destruction of wealth , it is designed to keep poor people poor .
Thanks!
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