Q&A: Maintaining a Vacant Unit

My question is as follows: What happens if the HOA has title to a unit and a bank holds the mortgage but takes it back from the HOA, is the bank responsible for all expenses? (Expenses, such as maintenance, tax, water and electric, etc.). The bank has allowed one unit in our condominium complex to become uninhabitable and it has become a burden and blight to the community. What should we do?

—Concerned in Connecticut

“The answer is simple: whoever owns the unit is responsible for the costs incurred once they are awarded the unit,” according to Attorney Richard E. Brooks, a partner with the law firm of Marcus, Errico, Emmer & Brooks, P.C., with offices in Braintree, MA. “Once the lender becomes the owner it is like any other owner and must pay currently. As to fees incurred before the lender forecloses, it depends on which state laws apply. Each state has different laws regarding the prior expenses.”    

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