If the trustees of a condo assoc. will not submit a annual report do I still have to pay my condo fees?

Asked 7 months ago - Wakefield, MA

Purchased a condo 24 months ago, no mortgage, soon after the closing I noticed there was no Annual Report in my docs. I requested one from the trustees that was promised to be handed our at the next Annual meeting. The trustees instead handed out the condos bank statements and reduced the condo fees by 50.00 a month. Then I received an email from them stating they hoped this eased my mind as to how much money was in the reserves, also stating they were not going to reduce their own condo fees. I replied saying I read the Declaration of Trust / Master deed that stated they are required to submit a report at the end of each fiscal year. It was promised they would submit one, but then rescinded. I was told I do not have to pay condo fees until it is produced. Not sure if this is true?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Christopher W. Vaughn-Martel

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . You do not want to stop paying your condo fees. If you do that, you will be handing your association an easy victory against you which will only cause a distraction from the conduct of the trustees. The law permits an association to aggressively go after owners who are late in condo fee payments. If you believe the trustees are acting inappropriately, you should speak with a lawyer about bringing a case against the trustees for breach of their fiduciary duty on behalf of the unit owners.

    Christopher Vaughn-Martel is a Massachusetts lawyer with the firm of Vaughn-Martel Law in Boston, Massachusetts.... more
  2. Richard Todd Rosenstein

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . You should never withhold your association dues. Your duty to pay condominium association dues is separate and apart from any of the duties of the association. If you fail to pay your assessments, the condominium association can file liens (including interest, fees and costs) against your property and foreclose on the property pursuant to the laws in your jurisdiction.

  3. Henry Lebensbaum

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Self-help by refusing to pay is not an option

    Criminal Law (all misdemeanor & felonies in District and Superior Courts), Drunk Driving and Drug arrests, Sex... more
  4. Jefferson W. Boone

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . I agree with Ms. Smith as to attempting to elect a new board. However, this may be difficult in some cases, including where there are a small number of units, and the board elections are easily controlled by the current board (e.g., a 3-unit condo, with three trustees) or a condo with a large proportion of investor-owners. Condo's are tricky, which is one reason I charge more when representing a prospective purchaser, as compared to a single family house. Always get a complete copy of the condo docs, including financials, minutes of the last couple of years of board meetings and unit owner meetings, and the management contract, if any before you purchase. If they don't exist, think twice.

    The foregoing answer does not establish an attorney client relationship, is not confidential, and should not be... more
  5. Cheryl Rivera Smith

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . No. You should get together with other owners, hold a special election and outst the old board. A local attorney who handles HOA law can help you with this.

    Actively practicing law in Texas. Inactive licenses in Arizona and Georgia. All answers are general in nature... more

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