The owner of a commercial garage unit (the “Garage Owner”), sued the condominium’s board of managers (the “Board”) seeking a declaratory judgment and damages for alleged breach of contract. The lawsuit sought to challenge the manner in which the condominium allocated and assessed the Garage Owner’s common charges. The Garage Owner alleged that the Board breached the condominium’s governing documents because it allocated common expenses, after the condominium’s first year of operation, per the first year’s budget set forth in the condominium’s offering plan. The Board filed a pre-answer motion to dismiss the Garage Owner’s entire complaint, which was denied by the lower court. The Board appealed that decision and order.
On September 23, 2020, the Appellate Division, Second Department reversed the trial court decision and found that the complaint should have been dismissed.
The Court determined that the documentary evidence presented to the court “utterly refuted the plaintiff’s factual allegations and conclusively established a defense as a matter of law….” and that the garage owner’s “allegation that the Board was obligated to reallocate the common expenses after the first year of the Condominium’s operation, based upon an assessment of the commercial unit owners’ actual use of and benefit from the services and other items covered by the common expenses, was refuted by the condominium’s governing documents.
To read the full decision, click here.