Budgeting for Variable Assessments

Not all lots or units are created equally in most subdivisions.  Sometimes the range of differences is based on size, or square footage.  Other times it may be simply that certain groups are designated as “affordable,” which requires a lower dues assessment level.

If the range is created by size, then budgeting for the variance is simply a function of calculating the unit sizes of the various model units to be sold, which may involve some assumptions.  One basic assumption that is made is that the more bedrooms in a unit, the more residents that will live there.  The trickle-down of that assumption is:

  • More resident occupants = more water usage
  • More electricity (if utilities are included in the assessments)
  • A larger unit takes up a larger percentage of the buildings’ exterior and roof allocation

If the range of assessments is based on private road access, the argument may be made that the lots furthest from the public road access should pay a higher percentage of the costs associated with the road. If your development is planned to include variable assessments, the CCRs should contain specific provisions that allow the HOA to vary the assessments.  The document must clearly identify the different line items in the budget that are to be collected in a variable manner.

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