Article IV – Maintenance Assessments
Section 1 – Creation of the Lien and Personal Obligation of Assessments. The Declarant, for each Unit owned within the Properties, hereby covenants, and each Owner of any Unit by acceptance of a deed therefor, whether or not it shall be so expressed in such deed, is deemed to covenant and agree to pay to the Association: (a) Annual Assessments or charges, (b) Special Assessments for capital improvements as set forth in Section 4 of this Article, for maintenance as set forth in Section 16 of this Article and in Article VI, Section 3 and for repairs as set forth in Article IX, Section 3 and (c) SugarMill Common Facilities Assessments (as hereinafter defined), such assessments to be established and collected as hereinafter provided (Annual Assessments, Special Assessments and SugarMill Common Facilities Assessments are jointly referred to herein as “Assessments). The Assessments, together with interest, costs, and reasonable attorney’s fees, shall be a charge on the Unit and shall be a continuing lien upon the Unit against which each such Assessment is made. Each such Assessment, together with interest, costs, and reasonable attorney’s fees, shall also be the personal obligation of the person who was the Owner of such Unit at the time when the Assessment fell due. The personal obligation for delinquent Assessments shall not pass to an Owner’s successors in title unless expressly assumed by them.
Section 2 – Purpose of Assessments. The Assessments levied by the Association shall be used to promote the recreation, health, safety, and welfare of the Owners and residents of the Property, for the improvement and maintenance of the Common Property , for the operation and administration of the Association, for the support of certain common facilities providing services to the Owners and for such other purposes as are set forth in this Declaration, the Articles or Bylaws. Without limiting the foregoing, the Association may elect to provide cable television service to all Units within the Property. Such decision by the Board shall be made prior to the conveyance of the first Unit to a resident of such Unit, and upon the approval of the decision to provide such service by the Board, the charge therefor shall be a line item within the Association budget.
Section 3 – Maximum Annual Assessment. Until January 1 of the year immediately following the conveyance of the first Unit to an Owner, the maximum Annual Assessment per Unit shall be as follows:
(a) The maximum Annual Assessment for a SFRU shall be Three Hundred Sixty and 00/100 Dollars ($360.00) per year. The maximum Annual Assessment for a MFRU shall be computed by deducting from the budget the line item for any cable television service provided by the Association and multiplying the remaining amount by twenty-five percent (25%). Thereafter, if cable television service is provided by the Association, the per unit charge for cable television service shall be added to the MFRU assessment.
(b) From and after January 1 of the year immediately following the conveyance of the first Unit to an Owner, the maximum Annual Assessment may be increased each year not more then 5% above the maximum Annual Assessment for the previous year without a vote of the classes of membership.
(c) From and after January 1 of the year immediately following the conveyance of the first Unit to an Owner, the maximum Annual Assessment to be levied against each class of Members may be increased above 5% by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) majority of the votes of each class of Members.
(d) The Board of Directors may fix the Annual Assessment at an amount not in excess of the maximum in effect from year to year.
Section 4 – Special Assessments for Capital Improvements. In addition to the Annual Assessments authorized above, the Association may levy, in any assessment year, a Special Assessment applicable to that year only for the purpose of defraying, in whole or in part, the cost of any construction, reconstruction, repair or replacement of a capital improvement upon the Common Property, including fixtures and personal property related thereto, provided that any such Special Assessment shall have the assent of two-thirds (2/3) of the votes of each class of Members, unless the Special Assessment is required due to the inadequacy of the insurance proceeds to cover the cost of repair to Common Property (See Article IX, Section1).
Section 5 – Notice and Quorum for Any Action Authorized Under Sections 3 and 4. Written notice of any meeting called for the purpose of taking any action authorized under Section 3(c) or 4 shall be sent to all persons who are designated to cast the votes not less than 30 days nor more than 60 days in advance of the meeting. At such meeting, the presence of members or of proxies entitled to cast majority of all the votes of each class of membership shall constitute a quorum and the proposed assessment shall be approved upon receipt of approval of 2/3 of the votes of each class of Members who are voting at such meeting.
Section 6 – Uniform Rate of Assessment. Both Annual and Special Assessments for the purposes set forth in Section 4 above, must be fixed at a uniform rate for all Units in a class and any increase must be applied uniformly for all classes, In the event that an Owner or his family, guest or invitees damage the Common Property as provided in Article IX, Section 3, or fails to maintain his Unit as described in Section 16 of this Article or Section 3 of Article VI, such Unit and its Owner may be subjected to a nonuniform, Special Assessment for payment of such costs.
Section 7 – General Common Facilities Assessments. It is hereby acknowledged that the Owners will share the use of certain common facilities including, without limitation, landscaped medians, rights-of-way, entrance signage, directional signage and open landscaped areas ( “General Common Facilities”). General Common Facilities shall not include facilities primarily serving one group of owners to the exclusion of other owners, such as recreational facilities.
Each year the Board of Directors of the Association shall appoint two persons to be members of the General Common Facilities Committee. The Board of Directors of the SugarMill Plantation Commercial Owners Association, Inc., the association operating the commercial property, shall appoint one member and the Declarant shall appoint the remaining member of the committee . Such General Common Facilities Committee shall meet at least once a year for the purpose of reviewing and amending, if necessary, the budget for the maintenance and operation of the General Common Facilities and for reviewing and amending any rules and regulations passed in connection there with. The General Common Facilities Committee shall also meet upon written request therefor sent by any member of the General Common Facilities Committee or by request of the Board of Directors of the Association. Prior to the annual meeting, the Declarant shall deliver a list of the General Common Facilities. Upon the termination of the Declarant’s Class C Membership, additions or deletions of improvements constituting General Common Facilities shall be determined by action of the General Common Facilities Committee.
Any action of the General Common Facilities Committee must be approved by a 3/4 majority of votes of the members of the General Common Facilities Committee and upon such approval shall be binding upon members of both Associations. Notice of all actions taken by the General Common Facilities Committee shall be delivered to the Board of Directors, of each Association for distribution to its members.
Each year the General Common Facilities Committee shall establish a budget for the operation, maintenance and insuring of all improvements or parcels of land deemed to constitute General Common Facilities. Upon approval of such budget by 3/4 majority of the General Common Facilities Committee, each Association shall be responsible for the payment of a prorata share of the budget, which shall be calculated by multiplying the total budget by a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of votes in each respective Association and the denominator of which is the number of votes in both Associations.
The prorata share to be paid by each Association shall be incorporated as a part of the Annual Assessment of such Association and paid by the Owners in the same proportion as the Annual Assessment of such Association.
In the event that either Association fails to make the required payment, the paying Association is hereby granted a lien right against the Common Property of the non-paying Association; such claim of lien may be enforced by the paying Association by filing a Claim of Lien in the public records of Camden County, Georgia and foreclosing thereupon in the manner of foreclosure on a deed to secure debt. The obligation to make such payments shall also constitute a corporate obligation of the Association.
The funds collected for the maintenance, operation and insuring of the General Common Facilities shall be paid to the Association, which shall enter into such contracts or employ such persons as are necessary to undertake the maintenance, operation or insuring of the General Common Facilities. The Association is permitted to enter into such contracts or agreements in connection with similar agreements or contracts entered into for the maintenance of its Common Property so as to obtain certain economies of scale by providing for the maintenance, operation and insuring of the General Common Facilities. Provided, however, the Association shall account for such funds as a fiduciary and at the end of each calendar year shall provide a written account of the income and expenses for the operation, maintenance and insuring of the General Common Facilities.
In the event that certain parcels of land constituting a portion of the Additional Property are developed as apartment complexes and the owners or tenants of such complexes are granted the right to use any portion of the General Common Facilities, the granting of such right may be conditioned upon the agreement by such owners to pay to the General Common Facilities Committee a use fee which tie agreed to by the parties as a condition of such grant of use.
Section 8 – Date of Commencement of Annual Assessments. Due Dates . The Assessments in each Subdivision shall commence upon the conveyance of the first SFRU or MFRU in a Subdivision to an Owner other than Declarant which Owner intends to occupy the Unit, The first Annual Assessment shall be adjusted according to the number of months remaining in the calendar year. The Board of Directors shall fix the amount of the Annual Assessment against each Unit at least thirty (30) days in advance of each Annual Assessment period. Written notice of the Annual Assessment shall be sent to every Owner subject thereto. The payment schedule and frequency shall be established by the Board.
Section 9 – Association Certificate. The Association shall, upon demand, and for a reasonable charge furnish a certificate signed by an officer of the Association setting forth whether the Assessments for a specified Unit have been paid. A properly executed certificate of the Association as to the status of Assessments on a Unit is binding upon the Association as of the date of its issuance.
Section 10 – Effect of Nonpayment of Assessments. Remedies of the Association. Any Annual Assessment not paid within thirty(30) days after the due date shall bear interest from the due date at the rate of fifteen percent (15%) per annum or the then applicable highest rate of interest permitted by the VA. The Association may bring an action at law against the Owner personally obligated to pay the same, or foreclose the lien against the Unit. In connection with any enforcement proceeding, the Association shall be entitled to recover, in addition to any outstanding Assessment and interest thereon, its attorney’s fees and all costs. No Owner may waive or otherwise escape liability for the assessments provided for herein by non-use of the Common Property or abandonment of his Unit.
Section 11 – Subordination of the Lien to Deeds to Secure Debt. The lien of the Assessments provided for herein shall be subordinate to the lien of any first deed to secure debt held by a Holder. Sale or transfer of any Unit shall not affect the assessment lien. However, the sale or transfer of any Unit pursuant to foreclosure on a deed to secure debt or any proceeding in lieu thereof, shall extinguish the lien of such Assessments as to payments which became due prior to such sale or transfer. No sale or transfer shall relieve such Unit from liability for any Assessment thereafter becoming due or from the lien thereof. Any such delinquent Assessments which were extinguished pursuant to the foregoing may be reallocated and assessed against all of the Units as part of the annual budget.
Section 12 – Exempt Property. All parcels of the Properties dedicated to, and accepted by, a local public authority or utility company and serving a public use and all properties owned by a charitable or non-profit organization exempt from taxation by the laws of the State of Georgia shall be exempt from the Assessment created herein, except no land or improvements which constitute a SFRU or MFRU shall be exempt from Assessments.
Section 13 – Reserves. The Board shall establish and maintain an adequate reserve fund for the periodic maintenance, repair and replacement of improvements to the Common Property. This reserve fund shall constitute a portion of the Common Expenses. In addition, the Board of Directors may establish reserve funds from the regular Annual Assessments to be held in reserve in an interest bearing account for:
(a) major rehabilitation or major repairs;
(b) for emergency and other repairs required as a result of storm, fire, mutual disaster or other casualty loss; and
(c) initial cost, if any, new service to be performed by the Association.
Section 14 – Declarant Payment. The Declarant, for so long as it is a Class C member, is obligated to pay the greater of twenty five percent (25%) of the Annual Assessment for each Unit it owns or Declarant shall pay the difference between the total of the Annual Assessments paid by Owners, other than the Declarant, and the Common Expenses as such occur. Declarant’s payment for any Units in a Subdivision shall commence upon the conveyance of the first Unit in the Subdivision to an Owner, other than the Declarant who intends to occupy the Unit.
Section 15 – Subdivision Associations. In the event that the Unit is subject to an additional assessment created by a separate declaration governing the Unit and enforced by a Subdivision Association, the Subdivision Association is authorized to collect the Annual Assessment created herein and transfer the Annual Assessments to the Association.
Section 16 – Special Assessments for Failure to Maintain. In the event that an Owner fails to maintain his Unit as required herein, the Association shall give written notice specifying such failure to the Owner and if the Owner fails to correct such unperformed maintenance within ten (10) days from the Association’s written notice, the Association may perform such maintenance and the cost of such shall constitute a Special Assessment for which a claim of lien may be filed and enforced.