We are the Board of a townhouse condo community. We have a couple of homeowner cases pending in small claims court which have been postponed a few times because our managing agent was not able to attend. We, of course, get charged by our attorney whenever there is a postponement. Our attorney has told us that they will not move forward in small claims without the managing agent or a board member present. Our board members, myself included, choose not to attend and have requested our attorney represent us, with or without the managing agent or a board member. He has refused. Any opinion on our attorney's demand, please. Thanks.
Our building likes to offset the abatement with an assessment. However there is a bylaw that they cannot impose any assessments without a vote of all shareholders. They have put this assessment on our bill without the required vote claiming it is a "tax" assessment and not a regular capitol assessment. This means over $1000 for me - If I do not pay the assessment until it is voted on, can they charge me a late fee? legally? I will pay the rest of the maintainence minus the assessment.
I know that the Board of Directors in cooperatives has two basic legal obligations. The Board must follow the co-op's internal rules (as set forth in the by-laws, and the proprietary lease), and house rules. A shareholder in our building contacted the building's attorney because the shareholder had an unresolved issue of disrepair flooring in the apartment above, noise, etc. The attorney wrote back to the shareholder stating that after contacting the board it appears that all what can be done was done by the board and that if the shareholder persists in complaining the shareholder may be liable for fees associated with the matter.
Again, the shareholder wrote back to the building's attorney since the shareholder felt that misinformation was given to the attorney by the board. There was no response, but on the next month's maintenance stub the shareholder was billed $900.00 for legal fees plus $25.00 late fees in subsequent months because the shareholder refuses to pay the legal fees. The shareholder argues that there was never any agreement for fee-for-service or implied compensation with the attorney and therefore feels the legal fee of $900.00 to be illegal.
The governing documents of the corporation do not state that a shareholder is responsible for the legal fees incurred as a result of contacting by letter the corporation's attorney. The shareholder had the local assemblyman review the matter, and he too, came to the same conclusion that the board has no legal right to pass on legal fees that was charged to the board by the co-op's attorney. Too, if the Board objects to paying the legal fee then it should take up the matter with the attorney because the attorney engaged in the matter with or without approval from the Board, so it appears. The board argued that it is policy to pass on fees incurred as a result of a shareholder's actions. The shareholder argues that policy does not supersede the proprietary lease or the by-laws.
Is there anyone out there who has more information at hand and can comment on this matter of whether or not the shareholder is responsible for the legal fees and late fees?
I have a rent stabilized tenant who I suspect does not live full time, or even the
majority of the time in her NY apartment. I want to bring suit and have her evicted if I can prove her non primary residency.
Can anyone recommend a good investigator for this type of work?
Is anyone aware of a court case where the owners or shareholders sued the condo/co-op Board and the Board President ended up selling his or her property in the building to pay for damages?
I am conducting searches for actual court cases where Board President is being held personally liable for his or her decisions or actions for a condo or co-op.
Thank you in advance for your help or suggestions.
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