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Perspectives

Mechanics Lien May Not Be Filed for Work on Common Areas of a Condominium

A contractor that is not paid for work done on real property may ordinarily file a mechanic’s lien against the property. However, the Condominium Act provides that generally a mechanic’s lien may not be filed against the common elements of a condominium.  Instead, the law provides that the common charges received by the board of managers shall constitute trust funds for payment for labor or materials, and shall be expended first for that purpose before being used for any other purpose.

In Matter of Board of Managers of the St. Tropez Condominium v. Central Construction Management, LLC, 2018 N.Y. Slip Op. 32223, 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 3896 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. Sept. 11, 2018), the court summarily discharged a mechanic’s lien filed against a condominium in disregard of the statute, but reminded the Board of the law’s trust fund provision.  The court declined to grant the Board’s request for an award of attorneys’ fees, holding that no authority existed for a grant of such fees.