Fort Lauderdale Condos and Special Assessments

Eric Miller Fort Lauderdale Realtor discusses how a special assessment can ruin your day!


Luxury Living Fort Lauderdale can come with a special word these days, that word is “Special Assessments”. Special assessments are an important aspect of real estate transactions, but they can take on different forms and purposes depending on the context in which they are used. Eric Miller Fort Lauderdale realtor of over 20 years has watched very often when people don’t understand the offer they are making and how special assessments are dealt with. In this article, we will explore the key differences between special assessments levied by a public body like a town or city in a real estate contract and special assessments discussed in a condominium or homeowner association (HOA) addendum.

Eric Miller Fort Lauderdale Realtor wants Fort Lauderdale Condo Buyers to Understand Special Assessments prior to Writing an Offer to Purchase


It is important for every Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Buyer to understand the different types of assessments. Having an experienced buyers agent on your team, like Eric Miller of eXp Realty Fort Lauderdale as your Buyers Agent can make all the difference. The goal is no surprises and making sure your contract gets you the best deal possible by asking  the seller to pay off all items we can. As your Ft Lauderdale buyers agent my job has always been to play Sherlock Holmes and make sure we enter into a real estate contract with few surprises.

Special Assessments in Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Contracts

Some Special assessments are imposed by public bodies such as towns or cities which typically serve to finance infrastructure or community improvement projects. These assessments are typically associated with real estate developments, and they may be a one-time fee or an ongoing obligation. Sometimes they can appear on a yearly tax bill. Eric Miller, an expert Buyers agent points out that sometimes searching for these can lead to the discovery of other liens which must be addressed prior to closing. A common one these days is programs where homeowners add the installation of hurricane glass, or a new roof to their tax bills and are remiss in understanding in most cases this will be paid off at closing.  Public Infrastructure and Services are usually directed towards funding projects like road repairs, sidewalk installation, sewer system upgrades, or the construction of community parks. Property owners in a specific area benefit from these enhancements. These are a possibility in certain areas of South Florida where drainage projects have been progressing aggressively. Property-Based Assessments place the cost of these assessments based on property values, square footage, or other factors that assess the property’s contribution to the benefits derived from the improvements.

These assessments are discussed in Paragraph 9 on the “Far/Bar As-Is” Contract and should not be confused with assessments that appear in the Condominium of HOA Addendum. This is often where hiring a Buyers Agent in Fort Lauderdale is a great option and ultimately can save you money.

Special Assessments in Condominiums or HOA Addenda

Condominiums and homeowner associations often levy special assessments to cover unexpected or extraordinary expenses beyond the regular monthly fees. These assessments are typically related to the maintenance and repair of common areas and facilities, or unfortunately deferred maintenance.  Special assessments in condominiums or HOAs are used to cover expenses related to the shared spaces and amenities within the community. This can include items like roof repairs, pool maintenance, or building exterior upgrades. In South Florida many associations this year did Special Assessments to deal with huge insurance increases.  Special assessments are often divided among unit or property owners based on a predetermined formula. This formula can be based on the number of units, the size of individual units, or some other equitable allocation which is usually predetermined in the original documents of the coop, condo, or HOA. The homeowner association or condominium board is responsible for collecting and managing these funds. The board makes decisions about when special assessments are necessary and how they will be distributed, within some restrictions by state law. The key difference between special assessments in public real estate contracts and those discussed in a condominium or HOA addendum lies in their purpose, funding allocation, management and who the funds are being used to pay. Public body-imposed special assessments aim to finance community-wide infrastructure and services and are typically property-based, with public accountability for fund management. On the other hand, special assessments in condominiums and HOAs are used to cover association-related expenses and are often unit ownership-based, with the association board managing the process. Working with an experienced realtor as your buyer’s agent is important as it is totally possible for both types of these assessments to exist. Even though it has recently become a condition of our contract Eric Miller at eXp Realty has long asked for copies of the minutes of the prior board meeting to be able to address with buyers and sellers any special assessment that needed to be disclosed along with contract negotiations.


Understanding assessments that could be passed along to a buyer is essential for prospective property owners to make informed decisions and budget effectively. When representing a buyer, a buyer’s agent must investigate as these assessments can significantly impact the overall cost of property ownership in both public and community settings. It is advisable for buyers to thoroughly review the terms and conditions related to special assessments when entering a real estate transaction to ensure they are prepared for the costs that could come. Eric Miller a 23-year Fort Lauderdale area realtor historically has always taken the approach that buyers need to seek to have sellers pay any assessment that has already been discussed by the board, and there are numerous ways to make this happen. Thinking of buying a Fort Lauderdale Condo, Call Eric Miller today and hire an experienced buyer’s agent on your team.