BY JOHN KIRITSIS, ESQ., CPA, MBA, MS, JD, LL.M
Dealing with late payments of condo common charges by unit owners in New York City (NYC) requires a systematic approach that balances the need to collect dues while maintaining positive relationships with residents. Here are steps to address late payments effectively:
- Clear Communication:
Maintain open lines of communication with unit owners. Send clear and regular reminders about common charge due dates through emails, letters, or notices posted in common areas.
- Enforce Late Fees:
Include provisions in the condo’s governing documents that specify late fees for overdue common charges. Make sure these fees are consistently enforced to incentivize on-time payments.
- Offer Online Payment Options:
Provide unit owners with convenient online payment options. This can encourage timely payments and streamline the process.
- Set Up Automatic Payments:
Encourage unit owners to set up automatic payments for common charges. This reduces the risk of forgetfulness and ensures consistent payments.
- Work with a Management Company:
If your condo association works with a professional management company, they can help manage the collection process, send reminders, and follow up on late payments.
- Personal Outreach:
Reach out to unit owners personally if their payments are consistently late. Understand their circumstances and address any concerns they may have.
- Offer Payment Plans:
Consider offering payment plans for unit owners facing temporary financial difficulties. This demonstrates flexibility while ensuring some payment is received.
- Implement Legal Procedures:
If late payments persist, consider taking legal action as outlined in the condo’s governing documents. This may involve placing liens on the delinquent unit, which can prompt resolution.
- Review Governing Documents:
Familiarize yourself with the condo’s governing documents, bylaws, and house rules. These documents provide guidance on how to handle late payments and potential consequences.
- Maintain Professionalism:
Maintain a professional and respectful tone in all communications. Being understanding of residents’ situations can foster cooperation.
- Utilize Legal Professionals:
If necessary, consult with legal professionals who specialize in NYC condo law. They can provide guidance on the appropriate legal steps to take.
- Community Education:
Educate unit owners about the importance of timely common charge payments and how these funds contribute to the maintenance and improvement of the building.
- Regular Board Meetings:
Address common charge payment issues during board meetings. Transparency about the financial health of the association can encourage compliance.
- Engage with Delinquent Owners:
For unit owners with a history of late payments, engage in proactive discussions to address any ongoing concerns and find solutions.
- Document Everything:
Maintain thorough records of communication, reminders, payment agreements, and any legal actions taken.
Addressing late payments of common charges requires a balance between assertive enforcement and maintaining good relationships with unit owners. A proactive and consistent approach, combined with understanding residents’ circumstances, can help mitigate the impact of late payments on the condo association’s financial stability.
Citations, References and Potentially Useful Resources for Further Information:
New York State Constitution
Federal Securities Regulation
New York State Martin Act
New York Condominium Act
New York State Security Regulations
New York Business Corporation Law
New York Limited Liability Company Law
New York Uniform Partnership Act
Federal Internal Revenue Code
New York State Tax Laws, Rules & Regulations
New York City Tax Laws, Rules & Regulations
Winston Churchill Owners, Inc. v. Regents Real Estate Associates
Board of Managers of the Park Regis Condominium v. Park Regis Owners Corp.
Park Sutton Condominium v. 447 E. 57th St. LLC
28 E. 10th Street Corp. v. Veras
Riverside Syndicate, Inc. v. Munroe
Essex House Condominium v. Marks
The Parc Vendome Condominium v. Atkinson
54-56 Meserole Street Owners Corp. v. Rossi
The Beekman Regent Condominium v. Bottiglieri
Chelsea 19th LLC v. West 19th Street Realty LLC
New York Department of Finance
New York City Department of Buildings
New York City Bar Association
New York State Bar Association
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