BY JOHN KIRITSIS, ESQ., CPA, MBA, MS, JD, LL.M
- Common Charges Overview:
Common charges are fees that condo owners pay to cover the costs of maintaining and operating the common areas and amenities within the condominium building. These charges can include expenses such as building maintenance, repairs, utilities, insurance, and management fees. Common charges are typically assessed based on the unit’s size or a predetermined formula.
- Legal Issues:
- Non-Payment of Common Charges:
One of the primary legal issues that can arise is the non-payment of common charges by condo owners. If an owner fails to pay their common charges, it can create financial strain on the condominium association, making it difficult to maintain the building and provide essential services.
- Collection Procedures:
Condominium associations have legal authority to take action against owners who are delinquent in paying their common charges. Common collection procedures include sending notices and warnings, imposing late fees or interest, and, in more severe cases, placing liens on the delinquent unit. The association can also take legal action to enforce payment, which may include foreclosure proceedings in extreme cases.
- Liens and Foreclosures:
When an owner fails to pay common charges, the condominium association can place a lien on the delinquent unit. This lien gives the association the right to collect the unpaid charges from the sale proceeds if the unit is sold. In some cases, if the non-payment issue persists, the association may initiate foreclosure proceedings against the unit owner.
- Legal Requirements and Due Process:
When pursuing legal action to collect unpaid common charges, condominium associations must adhere to specific legal requirements and due process. Failure to follow proper procedures can lead to legal challenges from unit owners, potentially delaying the collection process.
- Legal Consultation:
To navigate common charges collection and related legal issues effectively, condominium associations should work closely with legal professionals experienced in real estate law. Attorneys can provide guidance on proper procedures, help draft effective notices, and represent the association in legal actions if necessary.
- Dispute Resolution:
Another potential legal issue involves disputes between unit owners and the condominium association regarding common charges. Disputes can arise over issues such as the calculation of charges, the allocation of expenses, and the transparency of the association’s financial management.
- Legislative Changes:
It’s important to note that laws and regulations related to common charges and condominium management can change over time. Condo associations and owners should stay informed about any legislative changes that may impact common charges collection procedures and legal requirements.
Because legal matters can be complex and subject to change, it’s strongly recommended to seek legal advice from qualified attorneys who specialize in New York City real estate law and have up-to-date knowledge of the latest regulations and legal precedents.
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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