Let me give you a concept for consideration–that the condo (the structure, the land, etc.), not the homeowner, is the one that pays the monthly dues required to be a part of the Association. Though it sounds silly at first, it is absolutely the case for all practical purposes. After all, it is the condo for which the dues are collected; it is the condo that sits there day after day weathering and requiring occasional maintenance and repair. The dues accrue to the benefit of the condo, not the homeowner. In fact, it does not matter who the homeowner is at any given time; it only matters that the dues are paid for the condo. Understandably, the homeowner must actually write the check; but, his/her participation is coincidental.
When you grasp the idea put forth in the previous paragraph, you can see that the condo is a perpetual enterprise the support of which changes as the condo is bought and sold and responsibilities are passed on from homeowner to homeowner. The needs of the condo are always there regardless of who owns it. You can now understand that one homeowner may pay dues and receive no services if the condo does not need services during his/her tenure. During the ownership of the next the condo may receive a bounty of services. It is the condition of the condo that determines the need for services–not the wishes of the homeowner.
Knowing the above, the title of this article makes more sense to the sensible reader. The dues paid accrue to the welfare of the condo, whenever that may be; the homeowner may never see the use of that money for maintenance and repair of his/her home as such needs are unpredictable. Therefore, in a sense, there are no refunds. The money will be used elsewhere for the needs of other condos in accordance with our governing documents–such is the purpose of the Association in the first place as explained in previous articles. Rest assured, however, that the majority of dues paid is used to pay for services that all receive on a regular basis–insurance and lawn care. The portion used for maintenance and repair is a fraction of the total paid.
To many the term “fair share” conjures the notion that one gets back what one contributes to an enterprise. When joining a housing association, many mistakenly believe that this meaning should apply. Such is not the case as the concept of fair share is relative to what the homeowner agrees to under the governing documents–the contract. Every homeowner gets a fair share of services since services are based on needs; but, the homeowner does not necessarily get an equal share since his/her needs are likely to be different from his/her neighbors. When joining River Oaks Trace, the homeowner agrees to pay dues for the good of the Association (his/her home included). There is no promise of any return or equity–thus “sorry, no refunds”.