Q&A: Capital Assessments

Q. Our condo board recently proposed a large loan for a capital expense. The bylaws stipulate monthly maintenance assessment based on size of the unit. This assessment includes maintaining a cash reserve for smaller projects. There is no bylaw that states how an additional capital assessment will be allocated. The board has previously made equal assessments to each owner regardless of the size of each unit. Is this legal or proper in New York State?

                                        —Please Clarify

A. “It would depend upon the condo docs, including the offering plan,” say attorneys Robert Silversmith and Rachel Rubin of Silversmith & Associates Law Firm in Manhattan. “It depends upon how the common elements/interest are allocated. The offering plan might state something more comprehensive than the bylaws, or perhaps the person asking the question is missing/not understanding something in the bylaw. In any event, it is not a matter of New York State law, but of the condo’s docs.”

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