Limited Common Elements and HOA Dues
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 09:11:03 -0700 (PDT)
Hello all --

Help me out here.

First, only if you are organized as a condo or are thinking of organizing as
a condo, are currently developing the Declaration, By-laws, etc. or you are
a lawyer or other professional who deals w/ condos, or you simply like pain,
will you be even FAINTLY interested in this question/issue I'm trying to

I'm hoping if you are one of the above you will respond.

Everyone else should head for high ground.

If you have a Limited Common Element (LCE) that is used solely by a single
homeowner to which no other unit owner has access (in this case REAR
balconies and decks) how do you apportion the HOA dues?   Are the HOA dues
structured so the unit owner of this type of unit pays enough in their dues
to cover the cost of repair and/or replacement?  Or do you simply spread the
cost of maintenance repair and replacement throughout all unit owners
including those which have NO exterior private space either front or rear?

Because the REAR decks are built into the structure of our building and they
are exterior to the unit, they are considered LCEs.  Currently, the owners
of these units are assessed dues on their REAR balconies, decks, patios at a
percentage of the total square footage of each of these LCEs (some have both
a deck and a balcony or a patio and a balcony.)

Made up example: if they have a 50s/f deck they may only pay HOA dues for
25s/f because exterior space is counted less than interior space in our
Declaration/By laws.  This percentage may or may not be enough to cover the
maintenance of the LCE.  My question is if this is standard practice to
count exterior space at a reduced percentage and spread the cost not covered
by the unit owner's HOA dues among all homeowners or whether the s/f counted
for exterior elements is increased thus increasing the percentage ownership
and thereby covering the maintenance/replacement costs?

This is a very complicated issue because our by-laws, declaration and other
founding documents are sometimes silent, conflicting or non-responsive to
the issue.  So I'm trying to find out what other communities do.  Please
note also that this one question I'm posing may not be perfectly framed and
that there are many other issues of Common Elements, Limited Common Elements
and Unit Elements over which we are struggling to bring into some sort of
equity and logic.  It's not a simple issue.

A request to my neighbors:  there are many of us from TVC on this list.
I'm going to ask that we TVC'ers allow others to respond first.  Let's see
if there are any responses from other folks other than glazed eyes.  And
then we can all jump in and splash around.

You can also respond to me off list at:

zabaldo [at] or by calling at 202 291 7892.  Or send me your phone
number and I'll call you.

Many thanks!  And crossing my fingers...

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC

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