In a nutshell, no.
If you don't pay your assessments Illinois law allows the association to take possession of the unit (complete with sherriff's eviction) and rent it out for up to a year or so. That allows the association to recoup the arrearage. Then they have to give possession back to the owner.
Assessments are essential to the ongoing maintenance and repairs of the building/s and should not be looked at as burdensome. They are needed to keep the building/s desirable to future buyers and to protect the interests of all unit owners.
The only way you can get the fee change on associations is if you are the owner and you become involved in the association. Sometimes associations are not always run the best way and someone else can offer options to decrease costs.
Home owner's association fees are not negotiable for the most part. You cannot try to reduce/negotiate this amount because it is assessed based on the size (square footage) of the unit. However if you are in a purchase situation, you can request the seller to pay (issue a credit) for a certain number of months to reduce to the costs of ownership in the short-term. I hope you find this helpful- feel free to contact me 312-671-9207 if you have any questions. Best regards, Urvashi Verma @properties.
Separately, instead of comparing list price to list price, you might have your agent compare properties on a monthly cost basis. Add together the mortgage payment (principle, interest and insurance), assessments, 1/12th of the annual taxes and the monthly heating cost. In this way you are really comparing apples to apples properties with different prices, and cost to get a total picture of your monthly expenditure.
HOA (Home Owners Association) assessments are based on the square footage your unit occupies in comparison to the other units in the building. Also, keep in mind a 1000 square foot unit on the 5th floor will be less than a 1000 square foot unit on the 15th floor. I have never heard of anyone being able to negotiate their assessments down, however, I have heard of people attending their HOA meetings and disputing the floor level increase to assessments. Let me know if I can be of any assistance.
John's right... the first person mis-read your question and thought you were asking about real estate tax appeals I think....
Anyway, as John mentioned they aren't negotiable... Fees are either increased (or lowered if you're lucky) for all homeowners in the same building and as John mentioned they are calculated based on the condo size and therefore your percentage of ownership. Two other things that greatly affect the assessment cost is the size of the building (part of your assessment goes towards maintenance of common areas - so the smaller the building the smaller the common areas) as well as the number of amenities (which are part of the common area maintenance; pools are usually the most expensive things to maintain as far as amenities go.) It's just part of the cost of being a homeowner unfortunately.
If you have other questions, please don't hesitate to contact me!
Americorp Real Estate
Brokers Associate, e-PRO
Condo Assessments are passed by the condo board and no they are not negotiable. The HOA fee often varies based on size of condo unit, a 2 BR is cheaper monthly than a 3BR.