Eviction from co-op for late payment?

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Topic: Eviction from co-op for late payment?

Public Safety February 15, 2013 at 1:01 am

Eviction from co-op for late payment?

Someone I know is trying to buy a co-op. He mentioned that the co-op rules state that they can forfeit your shares if your monthly payment is a couple weeks deliquent (don’t remember exactly how many days). Seems scary!!
Is this a common thing to see in these co-op documents or is this an over-zealous co-op?
What do you think?

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I find it hard to believe that the co-op’s rules state that if you are only “a few weeks late” they can begin the proceedings to revoke a member’s shares. However, even if that were the case co-ops are (quite stupidly) governed under the District’s (assuming this is DC) landlord-tenant laws. So if your friend was behind enough and the co-op wanted to pursue revoking the shares and claiming the unit, they would sue in Landlord-Tenant court, and let me tell you from personal experience that it is a herculean effort for a “landlord” to win in that court against a “tenant.” The courts bend over backwards for tenants, and assuming the co-op won, the member would literally have up to the minute the marshall’s showed up to take possession of the unit to pay up in full.
That being said, the best way to avoid “eviction” is simply to abide by the rules and pay monthly fees as they are due. Most co-ops have in their rules methods and processes for dealing with delinquencies. Considering how tilted landlord-tenant courts are in favor of “tenants” it would be highly idiotic for a co-op board to go that route if a payment was just a “few weeks” late. It’s really something that’s only done when you’ve exhausted all options and the member with can’t pay or simply won’t. 
(Under DC law, when you own in a co-op you own a share of the corporation, but you as a person living in the building are considered to have a tenant relationship with the landlord, the co-op, of which you are an owner.)

Beside the point, but this post demonstrates a grammatical trend; namely, dropping “of” from the phrase “a couple of.” The poster writes, “a couple weeks deliquent.” Lots of writers and commentators take to this these days and I wonder why? Is it the result of texting? To me it sounds a little sloppy, and I only mention it because it is now common, but seemed to have evolved quickly. Just as one should not say a “a pair socks” or a “pair tickets” one should notesay “a couple weeks” or a “couple dollars.” Right? “A couple of weeks.”  Anythoughts on this trend? We’re a wonky town so I figured someone else might have some thoughts.
As to the co-op, if I were in that spot, unless I could not live without the condo, I would look elsewhere.

drk5 is right.  From personal experience, there’s no way in hell anyone could be evicted for being a few weeks late.  My co-op successfully evicted someone via the normal court process and not only did it take close to a year, but afterward there were two further lawsuits in the landlord-tenant court from the evicted parties (a divorced couple) each trying to weasle their way back into the building.  drk5 is spot-on about the absurb biases of the DC Landlord-Tenant court, and yes, the co-op/resident relationship is governed by the same laws and regulations as a landlord-tenant relationship.  So, your friend shouldn’t be worried about being evicted, but should be worried about other deadbeats in the co-op and the near impossibility in DC of kicking *those* people out.

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