By Carol McCracken
When Judith and John Rastl switched from home ownership to condominium ownership a few years ago, they knew little about the difference between them. However, in his role as treasurer of the board of Promenade Towers on the Hill, he’s been forced to learn on-the-job.
Condo associations set-up and maintain reserve funds; that is a pot of money the owners can use in emergency situations. For example, if repairs need to be made to common areas of the building the association might dip into that fund. Typically, small condos do not have a large pot of money on which to rely in these situations. So when condo owners are defaulting on their mortgages nowadays, who pays the bills that still need to be paid?
That’s why John and other Towers unit owners support L.S. 961. John attended a public hearing on the bill last week in Augusta to support it. If passed, the law would require that six months worth of payments be made to the association by the mortgage owner of the property before it can take its share of the recovered funds.
Although the bill is directed toward small condos, John believes that this legislation should apply to all size condos buildings. Otherwise someone has to answer the question of what is a small or large size condo. He acknowledges that the Towers reserve fund is healthier than some. But it’s still unfair to discriminate. All size condos suffer during economic tough times such as these.
John continues to learn more about condominium ownership. He now knows one of the first questions a potential purchaser should ask is: what is the bottom line of the reserve fund?
Promenade Towers hass the distinction of being Maine’s first high rise condominium. It was built in 1975.
L. D. 961 was sponsored by Rep. Cynthia Dill of South Portland.