Real Estate in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch
Diane Christner

Special assessment? What special assessment & other surprises when buying a condo.

Since this has come up twice in recent real estate transactions here in Sarasota, I thought it a topic worth mentioning to buyers.  Special assessments.


Special assessments are those assessments imposed by a condominium association against the unit owners, other than those regular assessments required by the annual budget.   Special assessments come about when major maintenance or repairs are required within the condo community and the condo association lacks sufficient funds in Reserves or other accounts to cover those repairs/maintenance items.  In the two situations I came across, it had to do with roofs needing replacement.


Fortunately for FL buyers, the Condominium Rider to the FAR/BAR Contract addresses most of the common issues and/or disputes that result from special assessments. Specifically, Section 3(c) of the Rider requires the seller to disclose if they are aware of any special assessment that has been levied by the association or that have been an item on the agenda, or reported in the minutes, of the association within twelve (12) months prior to the effective date of the contract.  The Rider goes on to state that the Seller shall pay special assessments levied or pending as of the effective date, that have not been disclosed by the Seller, in full at the time of Closing.  If the association imposes a special assessment after the effective date, then the Seller shall pay all amounts due before the closing date, and the Buyer shall pay all amounts due after the closing date.
So buyers, pay special attention to the Condominium Rider to your contract to avoid special assessment surprises after the closing.  As for sellers, you too should pay special attention to this rider as failure to disclose levied or pending assessments may cost you at the closing table.


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Diane Christner


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Bright Realty

5218 Station Way Sarasota, FL 34233

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