Cleveland, OH asked in Real Estate Law for Ohio

Q: I live in a condo. We were recently charged a "cleaning fee" we didn't agree to pay. Is this legal?

We pay a monthly association fee but we have never been charged a "cleaning fee" for our clubhouse. We did not pre-authorize the cleaning but the fee was still assessed. To me, this does not seem to be a legal debt. Am I correct?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: The board of directors of the condominium association can change the amount of the monthly fee and impose new fees as permitted by the Declaration of Condominium recorded in the county real estate records. Review the declaration to determine if the board was acting properly, which it probably was. The declaration probably does not require new fees to be approved by the condo owners. A vote by the board could be sufficient, and would require all owners to pay the fee. If not paid, the board could impose late fees and interest, and file a lien against the delinquent owner's unit, and even foreclose the unit if not paid. If enough owners objected, they could follow the process in the declaration to call a special meeting of owners to vote in new board members who could rescind the new fee.

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