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Warren A. Estis and Michael E. FeinsteinWarren A. Estis and Michael E. Feinstein ()

It has long been the frustration of condominium boards that unlike their cooperative board brethren, condominium boards have very limited options in dealing with a recalcitrant unit owner who fails to pay common charges. Unlike co-ops where the owners are “tenants” who can be evicted for non-payment of rent in a summary proceeding, condominium unit owners have a fee interest in their unit and, generally, condominium boards are relegated to either a plenary action to recover unpaid common charges or the prosecution of an action to foreclose a condominium lien for unpaid common charges filed pursuant to Real Property Law (RPL) 339-z. A foreclosure action can be a lengthy and expensive process, during which time the unit owner many times remains in possession “rent free.”

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