Q&A: Move-In Fees Legal?

Q We owned a condo in an association for eight years. At the end of 2014, we decided to upgrade, and sold our two (2) bedroom and purchased a three (3) bedroom unit (within 7 days) in the same association. The association assessed us a move-in fee of $500 at settlement. We disputed it at that time, but the association refused to remove it from the settlement fee notice and our choices, as presented by our title company, were to pay it or postpone settlement. We paid it and settled. Afterward, upon checking our master deed, bylaws and rules & regulations, we found only one rule referencing a move-in fee to be assessed to any owner who leased their unit. In accordance with the rules and regulations, page 32, LEASING UNITS, Section 1, subsection B, it specifically states:

".. . .the unit owner shall deliver to the management office a check for $200 representing a "move in-fee" payable to . . .and must be received prior to occupancy by the tenant of the leased unit."

We requested our money back based on this rule, as we do not rent our unit, and were told that a resolution, passed by the board a few years back, increasing the amount from $200 to $500 gave them the authority to collect this fee from ALL new owners as well as existing owners. Here is the wording: "Be it resolved that X Association Board of Directors has set the move-in fee at $500. This is effective immediately except for those units under an agreement of sale and scheduled for settlement who will be paying the previous $200."

We don't feel this resolution gives them authority to collect this from new or existing owners as no new language was added to now include those two classes of condo owners. We then asked for a list of services provided to us for this fee and they were and still are unable to identify even one.

My questions are as follows: Do we have any legal standing or recourse to get this money back?


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  • oh heeeellll no. I am so sorry. And I know what you mean when it comes to feinleg like no matter what direction i step in it's a step directly into dog s--t. I too live next to one of the worst neighbors in the 'hood but really your story beats all. Check out the noise regulations in your neighborhood - i'm not sure if it's regulated by county or city but there are usually rules saying things like you can't disturb the peace or your neighbors' enjoyment of their own properties and there are ways to file complaints about that that may lead to him having to go to hearings, pay fines, etc. It wouldn't hurt to file one more complaint and might help to find something specific in the local laws to pin him with as opposed to random calls to the sheriff. Also it probably wouldn't hurt to lodge one more complaint with him personally and with the HOA. Getting him evicted might be the easiest route. If there's an HOA association maybe a petition could be started to get him thrown out. What a jerk! I wouldn't be able to tolerate it and you absolutely shouldn't have to. Definitely stay on the authorities until something happens. It'll be worth it even though it's a lot of effort. I am so sorry.