A lis pendens cannot be filed against an individual apartment in a co-op building because the co-op building is owned by one entity with members who are given shares of the co-op in exchange for the right to occupy their one unit. Since a co-op is not considered real estate owned, it is not the same as owning a townhouse where a lender can file a lis pendens against that one unit if the owner fails to pay his or her monthly mortgage payment
The same is true for when a contractor does work for a particular apartment unit in a New York co-op or the entire co-op building such as painting the outside of the building. It is assumed that the co-op board has control and possession of the entire building, including all apartment units in the co-op and all common areas such as hallways, lobby, gym, community room, card room, etc., and should have been aware of the work. Therefore, a mechanics lien or lis pendens would need to be filed against the entire building and not anyone specific unit in order for the contractor to get paid.
If there is a mechanics lien on a co-op, new purchasers, the co-op or existing shareholders trying to refinance may not be able to get their financing from a lender because the lender will want the co-op to provide them with an indemnification. The lien would delay closings of new purchasers and other transactions related to obtaining financing concerning the co-op building. The reason is under the law, mechanics liens have a priority over mortgages so the lender would be hesitant to lend money because the lien would be seen as a risk to the lender getting back their investment.
If you own a co-op in New York and need assistance with estate planning or help with a lis pendens matter concerning real estate, it is suggested that you speak with a New York litigation and estate attorney to assist you with the mater.
If you wish to speak to a New York estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at