For timeshare owners, receiving their first special assessment can be quite jarring. Last year for example, timeshare owners at Point of Poipu resort in Hawaii were hit with the largest special assessment in timeshare history: almost $6,000 per interval! Special assessment fees are not the same as maintenance fees, which are regular, annual fees. In contrast, special assessment fees are unexpected, often hefty fees, which arise when the resort incurs damage or requires renovations that annual maintenance fees are unable to cover.
The problem with special assessments is they are not anticipated. The board of directors can pass an assessment at any time and the fee can be rather sizable. Oftentimes owners have not factored a special assessment into their budget and find it difficult to find the extra cash to pay the fee on time. Recently, special assessments have been imposed to cover the ever-increasing number of timeshare owners who are defaulting and foreclosing on their properties, leaving the remaining owners to support the entire timeshare development.