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Can an HOA Board decide to raise monthly dues as a way to by-pass a special assessment that would require a homeowner vote ?

Macon, GA |

Our HOA was trying to pass a pretty hefty special assessment that would require a 66 2/3% homeowner vote. Many homeowners have verbally opposed the assessment and the Board realizes they will likely have difficulty getting the special assessment passed so they have now decided instead raise HOA dues by about 35% . This is a sneaky, back door way to avoid allowing homeowners the right to vote. Is this legal? Can they just raise HOA dues in whatever amounts they want ?

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

I would refer you the your covent for the association.

Darrell B. Reynolds,
Attorney and Counselor at Law
2385 Lawrenceville Highway, Ste D
Decatur, Ga. 30033
404-636-6616

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Asker

Posted

I went there but no info on this specific issue

Posted

I agree that your covenants may be able to answer the question for you. Some associations' covenants have a limitation on the percentage it is allowed to increase the assessments from year to year. Others do not, which allows theboard to increase the assessments (usually with proper notice prior to the annual meeting, and with the membes having the opportunity to vote to disapprove the budget requiring the increase if specified/allowed in the covenants). So you need to check your covenants. You don't say if the funds are needed for important maintenance and repair projects or some other necessary purpose. If you don't object to the purpose, there may be other ways to finance the project rather than a high special assessment, such as taking out a loan. But remember, the payments may be smaller, but the interest will cause more to be paid out in the long run.

This is not intended to be legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. If more information is needed, you should consult with an attorney in your state regarding the specifics of your situation and the options available to you.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for the response. The by laws require approval if an assessment will total more than $200 average per unit. This increase is to fund some maintenance projects but the board still has no exact figures for the repairs. The increase in dues is really just the special assessment in disguise so I'm thinking the $200 average per unit will apply to this as well even though they are trying to word it differently

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