The associations have broad discretion to impose assessments. Condo associations can be subject to a statutory cap, depending on the law when the association recorded its documents, but the courts have recognized the requirement to have unit owners approve special assessments or increases above the cap may be waived if the special assessment is needed to correct an emergency situation affecting health or safety, or if it is to satisfy a judgment or debt.
You should consult with an attorney to review the facts of your case to determine if you have a possible claim. You should hire someone who is experienced in litigation against condominiums and/or HOAs because they have special requirements that must be met before you can file a lawsuit.
This communication is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is always recommended you consult an attorney in person to discuss your case. The Law Offices of Stage & Associates practices state-wide and represents homeowners and community associations. Please visit our website at www.stagelaw.com.
You should also review the CC&Rs of your HOA as the Board must follow the voting procedures set forth in the CC&Rs. You also have the right to the minutes of the Board meetings (which would show if they followed the procedures set forth in the CC&Rs). The board is in pretty much protected if they follow the CC&Rs. Most CC&Rs give wide latitude to boards for special assessments. If you are unhappy with the board, then rally your fellow neighbors and get new people to run and help get the vote out for them. In my experience, while a lot of people complain about HOA boards, noone wants to run and do the work. Therefore, the same people tend to be on the board again and again and again.