While no condominium association wants to face disputes or litigation, it is essential that associations prepare for common risks. Knowing common concerns faced by condominium associations can help your organization prepare for these issues before they arise.
1. Construction defects
While many people believe that a construction defect would primarily impact a unit owner, the truth is much more complicated. If a defect impacts public areas, the exterior of a building or any other area for which the association is responsible, construction defects become that association’s problem. Defects can range from designs that fail to meet code requirements to negligent installation practices, and they can leave condominium associations open to costly fines and potential lawsuits.
2. Disputes about contracts
Condominium associations rely on a wide variety of different professionals to build and maintain their structures. When contractors do not perform their work according to specifications or contract holders do not support the warranties of their materials or projects, associations may need to take action.
3. Conflict about the association’s responsibilities
Taking legal action against negligence or malpractice is not the only challenge that condominium associations face. If residents question whether the association is upholding their responsibilities, they may take legal action against the association. This conflict can involve the maintenance of common elements or required financial disclosures.
4. Liens and foreclosures
If homeowners fail to pay the dues required of them, New York law allows condominium associations to place a lien on a unit until homeowners pay for charges. If those charges remain unpaid, the association may need to foreclose on the unit.
Because of the legal challenges that condominium associations may face, it is important for them to work with an attorney to create contracts that protect them from future liability and legal strategies that protect the association in the courtroom.