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Wayne General Professional Building Association v. Giannini

A-5828-97T3 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2000) (Unpublished)

CONDOMINIUMS; EXECUTORS; PERSONAL LIABILITY—An executor who dealt with a decedent’s condominium unit as if he owned it personally was found personally liable for unpaid association charges.

A condominium association sought to recover unpaid condominium assessments owed by a unit owner. The unit owner had died, and his executor had taken possession of the unit. For several years, the executor paid the condominium assessment. However, the payments stopped. The association filed a complaint against the deceased unit Owner’s estate and the executor. The lower court issued a judgment against both the estate and the executor. On appeal, the executor argued that he should not have been held personally liable. The Appellate Division, however, held: “[t]he evidence was overwhelming that [the executor] took control of the property after his brother’s death and treated it as his own. He rented the property and deposited the rental payments into his personal account.” Moreover, in a related case, the Appellate Division had affirmed a determination of personal liability against the same executor for the return of a deposit following a failed attempt to sell the unit in question. Consequently, the Court was satisfied that the lower court’s finding leading to the imposition of personal liability against the executor was supported by substantial credible evidence in the record.


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