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If a seller fails to inform the buyer, at closing, of a possible pending HOA assessment; is the seller responsible?

Charlotte, NC |

I bought a condo and the next day found out about an assessment that may be assessed to homeowners due to mismanaged funds by the HOA. I'm pretty sure I can prove that the seller knew about the possible assessment before he sold me the condo yet he failed to inform me. He, nor anyone else, knew what the amount of the assessment would be at that time but later, the assessment was due and it was in the amount of $1600. I have already paid it and I am looking for reimbursement. I am filling out paperwork for small claims court and need to know if, 1. he can be held responsible and 2. what do I need to make sure I have when I take him to court?

Attorney Answers 1


Whether the seller will be responsible for the subsequent assessment will depend on the state law and the information, if any, disclosed to you by the seller. Typically, states such as North Carolina requre the seller to obtain a resale disclosure packet from the HOA and provide it to the purchaser. If so, did you receive one and what did it disclose about a special assessment? Also, when did the HOA actually make the assessment? If the HOA knew the money would be needed but did not assess it or disclose it, then the seller may not be responsible unless you asked directly and the seller knew and lied intentionally to mislead you--that would be fraud. Your problem in court will be to prove that the seller knew about the upcoming assessment and that you did not.

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