Must we pay the increased homeowners' assessment fee for cable?

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Question:

My homeowners' association is entering into a bulk cable television agreement. Every resident's assessment fee is going to increase by $28 per month, including those who do not already have cable. Is it legal for the association to force this cable bulk rate on every resident?

Answer:

Your need to ante up depends upon who made the decision about the cable TV from the getgo.

If the owners voted, you're probably stuck with the decision. As one of the owners in the association, you sign up for what the majority wants. On the other hand, if the board made the decision, you may be able to successfully challenge it based on whether the new rule is reasonable for the residents as a whole. When a board decision and money are involved, a court will look closely at the decision.

Your best hope may be to search out others who don't like the new dictate, rally them together, and attempt to get the decision changed in the same way it was passed. With cable, however, don't be surprised if you run smack into a stone wall. Most folks, it seems, love to squander away their hours plopped in front of those blaring boxes called televisions.

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