Elliott Meisel in Board Operations on December 25, 2012
However, since the bank was not foreclosing (and refused to do so, even after we offered to foreclose the condominium's lien and turn over all proceeds in excess of a specified sum to it), not taking any action would allow the unpaid common charges to continue indefinitely with no hope of recovery.
We recommended that the board enter the apartment with witnesses, document its condition, store any contents, get the apartment in shape to rent and lease it for a six-month term that then would continue month to month. Yet though we explained how we had done this successfully several times before — even generating substantial profits for other condominiums before the bank finally got around to foreclosing – the board declined to do so.
Our proposal would have generated a rental of about five times the monthly common charges and allowed the condominium to recover its outstanding arrears with virtually no legal proceedings. The proposal was neither illegal nor fraught with unreasonable risk, since:
After several more years, the bank finally did foreclose, and the condominium was forever deprived of more than five years of common charges. Sometimes asking forgiveness, if necessary, is better than asking permission.
Elliott Meisel is a partner at Brill & Meisel.
Photo by Carol Ott
Thinking of buying a co-op or condo? Already bought, and not sure how co-op/condo life and rules work? Learn all about purchasing a place and living in your new community. It's not like renting, and its not like owning a house. What's it like?