Happy New Year! Short notice of a condo fee increase

G.M. writes:

Dear Paul:

We have just received a letter from our board letting us know that our condo fees are increasing by five dollars a month effective January 1st,  The increase is just three weeks away. Doesn’t the board have to give us advance notice of a month or two before the increase takes effect? Thanks for your help.

Paul replies:

Dear G.M.:

A sudden increase in fees can be challenging for some people on a fixed income. I am aware that in some jurisdictions the board must notify all owners of a condo fee increase in writing within two weeks of the budget approval. For instance, if the budget is approved at an October 15th board meeting, owners should receive notice by October 30th. I am of the opinion that a minimum thirty-day notice should be mandatory, but I do not make the laws. The best you could do is to include a provision in your by-laws stating the time period in which the board must notify you of any increase.

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