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January 29, 2013 News

Appellate Reversal: Improperly Constituted Condo Board Cannot Impose Charges

In a unanimous decision, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, held that an improperly constituted condominium board had no authority to impose certain disputed common charges on condominium unit owners. The Appellate Division’s decision reversed the trial court’s earlier determination. 

 In Board of Managers of the 85 8th Avenue Condominium v. Manhattan Realty LLC, et al., a condominium board sought to collect certain common charges from the defendant unit owners.  The condominium bylaws and other governing documents limited the scope of allowable common charges and, importantly, required that the condominium board itself include representatives of the defendant unit owners. 

 In its decision, the Appellate Division reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to the condominium board, stating that there were “issues of fact as to whether the condominium board was properly constituted and thus, whether it had the authority to impose” the disputed charges on the unit owners.  The court additionally granted summary judgment to the defendants on the condominium board’s claims for (1) charges from 2004 onwards, because it was undisputed that the board had not included representatives of the defendant unit owners since that time, and (2) charges prior to 2004 in excess of the categories allowed by the condominium’s governing documents. 

 Morrison Cohen represented appellants Manhattan Realty Co. LLC and Joel Wiener.

 For a copy of the court’s decision, please click here.