More condo boards resort to extreme tactics to collect common charges

Owners of condominium units who fail to pay their common charges are more frequently coming home to unresponsive doormen, broken key fobs and even lists in hallways with their name on it. The New York Observer reported that more condo boards are taking stands against delinquent owners in an effort to compel them to pay their share for buildings’ increasingly lavish amenities.

“We decided it really wasn’t fair to allow them to use the same amenities,” said Rebecca Sheinberg, president of the condo board at the Wellington Tower on East 82nd Street. “Other people in the building don’t want to be subsidizing people who aren’t paying.” Sheinberg said some boards are even barring delinquent residents from using elevators in buildings.

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The Observer noted that the practice is unique to condos, as co-op maintenance fees take precedence over mortgage payments and tend to be cheaper, because older buildings typically lack the pricier amenities of their newer, condo counterparts.

While most people quoted for the story hadn’t heard of any true fights breaking out over the practice, the case of celebrity photographer Kenneth Nahoum, who owns 20 percent of the square footage at 95 Greene Street in Soho, presents an exception. He filed a $2.1 million suit to get the board remove posters demanding payment. [NYO]