Saturday, November 3, 2012

Condo destroyed in hurricane & evacuated, do you have to pay your common charges?

Yes, unlike a cooperative apartment, where the warranty of habitability applies based upon the unit's characteristic of being a leasehold interest, a condominium's unit is owned in fee, as an owner of the land, structures and facilities. Therefore, a condominium owner must pay their common charges and assessments regardless of the hurricane rendering the unit unsafe for occupancy.

Therefore, condominium owners legally have to pay common-charges while cooperative owners don't in the face of Sandy. Nonetheless, when cooperative owners don't pay, they are likely giving the kiss of death to their building, which will likely end up in foreclosure when it doesn't have money to pay its mortgage. So, its suggested that ethically, albeit not legally required, cooperative shareholders should pay and hope that their homes are rebuilt through their building having an adequate insurance policy.

Before paying or not paying your maintenance or common charges, both condominium and cooperative residents should first consult with an attorney and review all applicable legal papers for your building.