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Condominium Board Entitled To Recover Attorneys’ Fees and Late Fees Even After Unit Owner Paid Past-Due Common Charges

The governing documents of most condominiums and cooperatives provide that if an owner does not pay his or her common charges or maintenance on time, the board may impose additional charges such as late fees, and is entitled to be reimbursed for attorneys’ fees and legal expenses of collection.

In Board of Managers of One Strivers Row Condominium v. Giwa, 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 9225, 2015 N.Y. Slip Op. 9213 (1st Dep’t Dec. 15, 2015), a Condominium Board sued one of the unit owners who had failed to pay his common charges.  After the lawsuit was filed, the unit owner paid the common charges in full.  The Board continued the lawsuit, however, seeking payment of its late fees and attorneys’ fees as authorized under the By-Laws.

The court held that the Board was entitled to pursue the litigation even after the outstanding common charges had been paid in full, and affirmed a judgment of more than $42,000 representing the late fees and the Board’s reasonable attorneys’ fees.