Monday, October 28, 2013

adding fees and charges to condo bills

At tonight's board meeting of the historically important Westmoreland Terrace Condominiums, the board discussed adding new language to the bylaws to allow the condo to add late fees, interest charges, charges for repairs, and other charges to individual condo bills.  The language that the condo association's lawyers drafted is standard language already in most condo associations bylaws.  Because Westmoreland is a condo association with a long and distinguished history, Westmoreland Condo owners will have the opportunity to consider careful that language and vote on whether they want that language in the condo bylaws.

With respect to late fees and interest, the board considered two approaches.  The draft language specified a $25 per month late fee for delinquent accounts, plus 10% interest on the delinquent amount per annum.  In the long run, inflation might make the real value of the $25 late fee too low.  An alternate proposal is to amend the bylaws to state that the condo association may bill owners for collection fees as adopted by the condo board.  The Condo Board is considering making that change to the drafted bylaws amendment.

With respect to other fees and charges that the condo association might want to add to an individual owner's bill, the drafted language does not contain any regulation of those fees.  Consumer protection agencies have struggled to regulate unusual fees added to credit card bills, telephone bills, and other bills.  One resident attending the meeting suggested that the bylaws amendment be changed to state explictly that any added fees will be reasonable and cost-based.  The board appeared to be reluctant to include such language on fees and charges.

Voting on the bylaws amendment will likely to occur this spring.  For the amendment to be included in the condo bylaws, two-thirds of condo ownership must approve it.

Other items from the condo board meeting:
  • An incident of six attempted car thefts and a scooter theft recently occurred in the neighborhood.  Resident who see any suspicious activity should report it to the police immediately.
  • Problems with the hot water supply are being addressed.  Overdraw on the electrical circuit for the hot water heater was tripping a circuit breaker.
  • New cracks in the facade of 1336 are being investigated.
Attending the meeting were Board members José Calvo, Jennifer Feinleib, Joe Ruland, and Gretchen Sprehe; residents Douglas and Kip; and Zalco Property Manager Lenard Goldbaum. The next regularly scheduled condo board meeting will be on Nov. 25.

1 comment:

Enrique Rodriguez said...

I don't understand why the condo association wants even more fees. the Condo fees have gone up 20% over the last 3 years! Meanwhile the condo prices have stayed the same since 2007.
Westmoreland Terrace is a small condominium community with less than 100 units. If an individual owner has problems with payments, I think it should be addressed by the board, personally. Adding legal constraints to allow the board to sue individual owners sounds like too much.

I believe the current contract contains an arbitration clause, which is more practical than taking people to court over less than $1000.