Special Assessments and Condominium Sales Contracts
Special Assessments can be the bane of a condominium closing. The standard ASIS-5 contract has provisions within the contract at Section 9, Subsection (f), Line 177 called “Special Assessments”. However, this section of the contract does not deal with special assessments passed by an association. This provision in the contract is dealing with special assessments imposed by “Public Bodies” such as cities, towns or counties. Special assessments for associations are controlled by the “Condominium Rider” that must be attached in all transactions that have an association. Section 3, Subpart C, subsection II of the Rider controls association special assessments. The choice must be made as to who will pay the assessment. It does not matter that there is not an assessment pending at the time the contract is entered because associations can pass assessments between the date of the contract and the date of closing. As a seller’s agent you want to negotiate that the seller only pays through the date of closing and as a buyer’s agent you want to negotiate that the seller pays the assessment in full at closing. In either event, do not forget to include this decision in all of your contract negotiations concerning associations.