It’s a very unpleasant but often common situation in community living: the moment when the association has to evict or eject an owner or tenant. It could be for a variety of reasons, but mostly due to the delinquency of the person to pay his or her share in order to keep the community running.
Co-op owners own shares in a corporation that owns the building and have a proprietary lease on their unit. They are for all intents and purposes tenants and fall under landlord-tenant law. On the other hand, a condominium is real estate. And while the circumstances may be different, there are ways for a condominium association to evict--or rather eject--an owner. We look at the circumstances and process of how someone could be removed from a condo.
Ejecting an Owner
The case of the Heywood Condominium in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood illustrates the process. The condominium successfully ejected a former unit owner who had failed to pay his common charges for several years.
“When an association is owed back common charges, they can file a lien against the unit and the unit owner and begin a foreclosure action," says attorney Mark Hakim of the Manhattan firm Schwartz Sladkus Reich Greenberg Atlas, which represented the condominium. “During the foreclosure action, the association can request that the court appoint a receiver to collect rent from the unit. That rent will be at market rate for the unit, generally a much higher dollar amount than the common charges.
“If the owner is still occupying the unit and refuses to pay the rent ordered by the receiver,” Hakim continues, “an action for ejection can be brought and the in-foreclosure owner/occupant can be removed for non-compliance with the receiver’s order.”