—Concerned in Clinton
“Based upon the question, there is a question as to whether the unit, which appears to have substantial debris, is being maintained in a safe, sanitary and satisfactory manner. Both condominiums and co-ops, in their respective documents, have certain maintenance obligations that are imposed upon owners. Typically, the documents contain provisions regarding the maintenance and upkeep of the unit. In this case, as there may be a question as to whether the unit is being maintained in accordance with such obligations, the potential infraction should be reported to the board. Additionally, aside from the obligations contained in the underlying documents, the condition of the unit may also trigger the application of the state’s Sanitary Code.
“Therefore, it is important for the board to be informed of the concern about the unit, so that the board may evaluate and take any and all appropriate steps to address the condition. “Generally, the documents do give the board broad powers to address infractions through the use of fines, rights of access to units and/or the authority to bring a legal action to seek a court order to enforce an owner’s obligation. In addition to such remedies, there is typically a right of the association to recover its legal costs and expenses or any charges incurred by the association as a result of the violation, such as cleanup costs. All such charges can be assessed to the owner and constitute a lien upon the unit until paid.
“Clearly, the importance of keeping the board apprised of concerns, particularly those related to health and safety, cannot be overemphasized. It allows the board to be forewarned and helps them to be forearmed in the administration of the association in the best interests of all owners.”