Need appeal strategy on $2000 fines from Condo Board

11 Replies

Hi,

I immediately called the management office after seeing $2000 fines on the monthly bill. They said 2 notices were mailed to my apartment, but I didn't get any of them.

On the first notice:

1. Tenant moved in without prior approval from Management - $250 fine for illegal move-in and failure to provide Management with proper documentation.

2. Tenant moved his personal items (small packages) at 1AM caught by the camera - $250 fine for failure to adhere to the buildings rules and regulations.

3. Failure to complete the sublet application within 14 days - $500 additional fine.

On the second notice (14 days later):

1. Store delivery at 6:30pm - $500 fine for illegal furniture delivery.

2. Illegal sublet - $500 fine.

On both of the letters, it's said: "Failure to comply with the building's rules will result in referral of this matter to the building's attorney. All costs associated will be my responsibility as the Shareholder."

Here are the Rules and Regulations on fines:

1. A written complaint to the Board or Managing Agent.

2. Board may issue a "warning" for any first violation of the Rules

3. Board may assess a fine $250 for any repeat violation of the Rules

4. Board may assess a fine up to $500 for any continuing or flagrant violation of the Rules

5. After a written report, a hearing from the parties, full Board members may authorize legal action.

Also on the first notice:

"Your tenants were advised on [day / time] that they were permitted to move into the building Monday through Friday, between 9:00AM and 5:00AM, no weekends and no holidays."

Here are my questions regarding to the appeal:

1. I can't find this move-in/out policy (M-F,9-5) in condo's Rules and Regulations.

2. It's Super who chatted with tenant on the roadside while the tenant was waiting for me. Is it official to the tenant like "you were advised"?

3. I didn't receive any notices from the mail, therefore, I didn't react accordingly. For those time/deadline restriction matter, shall Management office send out certified/return receipt required mail or just normal one?

4. There is an escalation path from step 1 to 5 as above. Apparently, I was assigned with step 3 directly and I'm in step 4 now by Management. Do they abuse the process?

5. Now I'm working on the rental application to make up "illegal sublet" issue. It takes 4-6 weeks to process and get approval from Board. Shall I appeal the fines after the rental is approved?

Anything else I can use to appeal the fines?

Thank you in advance for your help!

Sounds like you violated the rules.  Did you give a change of address, or was the unit in question the address you had with the association.  If you didn't give a change of address, it's not their fault you didn't get the notices.  Trying to negotiate, and show a willingness to follow the rules you agreed to when you bought, is probably better than trying to appeal on the merits.

Wayne,

Thank you for the advice.  Yes, I shall not use "appeal" though the process is called "appeal". I'd like to have fines waived.  The management need a letter from me to submit to the Board.

Matthew,

It's either condo or co-op in New York City.  We paid $1500/month for co-op fee as an owner, so flied out of co-op to condo.  

Originally posted by @Susan W.:

Matthew,

It's either condo or co-op in New York City.  We paid $1500/month for co-op fee as an owner, so flied out of co-op to condo.  

Ouch 

@Susan W.  do you have any updates on how the appeal went?

@Paul Schuw, Still pending yet.  Thanks @Wayne Brooks for his guidelines.  I requested fee waiver, instead of appeal, though it's an appeal process.  I'll keep you posted. 

@Susan W.  

 I sure hope the waiver goes through. I won't be purchasing anything in NY in the near future.

Might be too late now but your best bet is to attend one of the board meetings and plead your case. When you show up in person, it carries different weight than a name on a piece of paper. Also, provide documentation for everything: the rules & regs, where you think the management company went wrong, change of address notification, if applicable, but most importantly, hammer down how you will work with your tenant to correct these violations. If the board sees you as an engaged owner that wants to follow the association's rules and takes responsibility for the actions of he tenant, they're much more likely to waive the fines. 

Lastly, see if NY has a Coop Act which regulates the governance of coops. You may have some recourse there if the management didn't follow the guidelines.

When you get this all straighnted out i think i would sell...

Hi all,

Thank you for the comments.  It's very helpful. The good news is that the fine is reduced to $1000, after I submitted a nice and polite letter.

I asked PM why the fines not following the formal process starting from warning. The answer is any violation goes to fines directly. Is this a correct statement? Bylaw tells the correct behavior, but no statements on punishment.  

I requested the written notice for the Board decision, nothing came but $100 late fee on the next bill.

I requested the written notice again and found out they made a mistake to mail the letter to my old address. Everyone can make mistakes, but I got fined.

Each month, $100 added for late fee. So I called the office again, requested to remove the late fee as this issue is still in pending.

I asked to attend Board's meeting to discuss my case in person, per tip from @Marc M.

It's Board President that reported the violations to the Management Office. He stopped the tenant bringing in small boxes to the apartment, yelling and not identifying his title.

The next week, the President stopped the delivery company for sofa delivery at 6:30pm (the scheduled time is 4pm, the delivery was late). The delivery guys offered to be back next day, but the President changed his mind to let them move using the stairway instead of eleavtor. It took much longer time and effort. The President only talked to the delivery guys, totally ignored the tenant's wife. Later, he still reported the violation which was under his approval.

The President sent rental application to other tenants after they moved in, told them he would take good care even they did not go through the application process in advance.

Are these good supporting points?

Thanks for you help!

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