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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 117433
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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I am an owner in a condo association. We have an HOA and the

Customer Question

I am an owner in a condo association. We have an HOA and the largest owner, 5 properties of 8 has stopped paying monthly dues. We were notified by an attorney that the dues were being put in an escrow account for building repairs that have not been done by the association. The attorney said he would send an accounting of the account as the repairs were made. Nothing has been done for 4 months and no accounting has been shared with the association. Is this legal? Common area bills are not being paid and our property and liability insurance is going to be canceled. What can we do? What responsibility does the attorney have. We are in New Jersey. Thanks
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 12 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Self help is not allowed in NJ and the association can sue him for the payments, but if the association is breaching their duty to the owners and not making required repairs, he can countersue the association and force them to make the repairs. So the association is wrong in not making repairs, just as he is wrong in withholding payments causing harm to the association. The attorney has a responsibility to his client and to send the association an accounting of the funds to prove they are there, but the association has a responsibility to get the repairs made as well. So this is a case of both parties being wrong and you need to get the board to schedule repairs required by the bylaws/covenants to then force the owner to release the money and then if they do not do so the association needs to sue him for the money release so they can pay for their bills and the repairs.

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