The Bischoff Premise to Maintenance Fees
What the Board has planned for your hard earned money
In May, 2016, an ADR meeting was convened to resolve an issue, that greatly affects every member of Burnt Tavern Manor Condominium. Representing our Board, and in attendance, George Bischoff (appointed President), Peter Alvarado, (appointed Vice President), Mary Anne Butler Hayes and George Kotzas (attorney with Berry, Sahradnik, Kotzas & Benson of Toms River, NJ).
In an attempt to resolve the wrongful over-charging of maintenance fees against the vast majority of owners, a request was made for the Board and Association, to end their admitted decades long reign of extorting money from the members. As well as, for the Board to immediately start assessing the legally correct fees from that day forward. A simple request to simply, “treat everyone fair and legally”.
Speaking for the Board, George Bischoff presented a new premise, for why legal requirements of the State of New Jersey, should be unimportant and attempted to justify why legal rights, of us the owners, were meaningless. At least as far as the Board members are concerned.
Mr. Bischoff presented the uneducated premise, as he put it,
“the more expensive the unit the more they should pay in maintenance fees”.
This, “MARKET VALUE” maintenance fees, could actually sound reasonable to those, lacking an understanding of economics and some simple math. The largest pitfall to this way of thinking, is, as your unit’s “MARKET VALUE” goes up, you potentially pay even more, each month in maintenance fees. This brings us to the real question.
- “WHAT DOES “MARKET VALUE” HAVE TO DO WITH THE COST OF REPAIRS?”
For anyone who has ever gone to Home Depot and bought a gallon of paint, or roof shingles, or any construction, repair or maintenance materials, know full well, the stores’ employees never once asked you, “How much is your home worth?”, before deciding what you should be charged for your purchases. Maintenance materials always cost the same, whether you own a one bedroom unit, selling for $117,000 or a 6 bedroom chalet overlooking the river, selling for 3 million dollars.
For reference, Burnt Tavern Manor Condominium master deed, and our own individual unit deeds, lists the “Percentage Interest” required of each owner and is based on a legal and fair basis of average repairs needed by each unit. Instead of selling price deciding what materials for maintenance cost, the actual materials needed to repair each unit decides what our maintenance fees must be each month.
Now for the harsh reality of what the Board has planned for all owners. First, they have stated a plan to continue to ignore the legal requirements of the State of NJ and strip away the property rights of all owners. In a clear and scary look, of how this “MARKET VALUE maintenance fees” would be applied, to our ultimate demise.
Apartment style units, which had an average sale price in the last 6 months, of $117,000.
TL Villas units, which had an average sale price in the last 6 months, of $127,500.
Townhouse units, which had an average sale price in the last 6 months, of $157,500.
Mr. Bischoff and the Board would require the;
- Apartment owners to pay $217.00.
- The TL Villas would be required to pay $236.00.
- All Townhouse unit owners would be mandated to pay $292.00!!!
This can only be called RIDICULOUS. Worse than that, is these fees are based on the poorly designed 2017 budget, sent to all owners at the end of December 2016. So to put this in even scarier terms, since market value fluctuates from one month to the next, it is possible for fees to require an adjustment to maintenance fees several times throughout the year. For the Townhouse unit owners, if your unit were to increase in value, you could very easily be faced with, Mr. Bischoff and the Board, demand you increase your “maintenance fee payment” to well over $320.00 PER MONTH!!!!
So, here’s the easiest question you can answer;
“Would you rather pay ONLY what you are legally responsible for? OR Would you rather pay someone else’s fees?” So on one hand, you only pay a legally fair amount. On the other hand, you hand over your bank book, credit cards, and turn your pockets inside out, and never know why your money keeps vanishing.
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