My question involves real estate located in the State of: Massachusetts
I live in a condominium building, and I’m asking a question on behalf of the (former) superintendent of the building. She has lived in the building her whole life, and I believe she was the building’s super her entire adult life (she’s now close to 80 y.o.). This past year, the Trustees ended her employment and hired a property management company to take over. She owns the apartment she lives in, and now that she’s no longer the super, the Trustees have told her she has to start paying monthly condo fees and periodic assessments like all other unit owners (she never had to pay previously- I believe it was part of her salary).
The condo fees and assessments for each unit owner are based on square footage, and are quite substantial. She was given a very small severance payment and now lives on social security, and will likely not be able to afford living in the building for longer than another year. Putting aside how badly I feel she was treated, my question focuses on the condo association fees: her apartment is in the basement, and it seems to me that calculating her fees on square footage, without taking the basement location into consideration, is unfair or wrong. The unit right above hers (same size) is assessed over $200k more in the city’s property database, as are all the other same or similarly-sized units in the building (again, due to higher floors vs. basement location), and I’m thinking this should be factored into the equation.
I advised her to talk to a lawyer about whether or not she could challenge the high fees/square footage issue, but she’s reluctant to do so since money is so tight. I thought I’d come here and see if anyone has any ideas or thinks she might have a case.
Thanks in advance.