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
Mechanics Lien/Lis Pendens
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.
Implications on the Co-op Building
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