Your condominium association may have turned over from the developer years ago, but there's a chance that you still have a financial connection to that developer. 

Many developers took the opportunity to continue to profit from their new construction or converted condominium project by retaining commercial space within the building and renting it out. But even if the space remains vacant, the developer has a financial obligation to the association, and many condo boards aren't aware that they are owed.

There are two different ways the commercial portion may have been handled. The first would be for an ownership percentage to be allocated to the units, in which case the units are a part of the association and subject to the same financial obligations as residential owners. Assessments are charged to the retail owner based on the ownership percentage assigned.

The second option is for the developer to omit the commercial portion from the association and create a separate legal agreement between the residential units and the commercial units that dictates what expenses are chargeable to the commercial owner and to what extent. This is generally known as an "Easement Agreement" and must be recorded with the county recorder along with the association's Declaration. An Easement Agreement creates a bit more accounting work for the board and can easily be overlooked by board members who have not had prior experience in addressing commercial units.

If your association has commercial units and has confusion or difficulty in charging the developer and/or collecting those funds, Haus Financial Services can help.  Contact us and start putting more money in your bank account!

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