Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Alternative Dispute Resolution for Collection of Delinquent Condominium Fees

By:   Angela M. Morisco, Esq.

A recent decision by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey confirmed the scope
of the ADR requirement set forth in Bell Tower v. Haffert, 423 N.J. Super. 507 (App. Div. 2012).

In The Glens at Pompton Plains Condominium Association, Inc. v. Van Kleeff, decided on May 7, 2015, the Appellate Division determined that the mandate of N.J.S.A. 46:8B-14 (k) requires condominium associations to offer a  "fair and efficient procedure for the resolution of housing related disputes" in connection the collection of delinquent maintenance fees in general.  There is no distinction whether the fees due were the result of a special assessment or a regular monthly maintenance fee.

Consequently, New Jersey law empowers a party to compel alternative dispute resolution as  an alternative to proceeding in court at the outset.  

Therefore, it is recommended that prior to commencing any litigation, in connection with the collection if delinquent condominium maintenance fees, the owner be provided with notice and of the right to request alternative dispute resolution.

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