Expense Allocation


Yet another commercial unit owner has won a case against an association where assessments were improperly allocated.  

In addition to residential units, many common interest communities have one or more commercial units.  In these cases, the declaration almost always segregates expenses between "CE" (common to all units) and "RCE" / "RLCE" (common to all residential units) and "CCE" / "CLCE" (common to all commercial units) and NOT TO BE CONFUSED with CCE "condominium common elements" which is a term that should never have been invented.   

CE vs. RCE vs. CCE expense segregation is equitable and intended to ensure that commercial units are only assessed for expenses relating to components and/or operational areas of a property that they use and/or that cannot be reasonably divided.  For example, commercial units are generally not permitted to access residential amenities and should not be assessed for them, nor provided any fiscal benefit for income those amenities generate.  

In the ruling below, a Massachusetts appellate court found that Replacement Reserve funds must be physically separated into CE vs. RCE accounts and not simply assigned percentages for CE vs. RCE vs. CCE for each Reserve line-item.  While not explicitly mentioned, operational costs should also be appropriately apportioned in your association's annual budget.   Some mixed-use communities employ a master association relationship that organically resolves CE vs. RCE vs. CCE expense allocation concerns.

Board Violates Condominium Documents by Changing Assessment Allocation Methodology

Gerfman Global, LLC v. Kershaw, 99 Mass. App. Ct.1103 (Mass. App. Ct. Dec. 14, 2020).pdf