A New York man said his co-op, which wanted him to get rid of his pit bull, attempted to charge him $1,000 in legal fees despite never going to court.
David Teitelbaum, 47, said the Dayton Towers co-op in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood added the fee to his monthly bill after the co-op's lawyer sent him two letters demanding he get rid of his pit bull, which he said helps him cope with depression and other ailments, the New York Daily News reported Friday.
Co-op manager Richard Nardo said the charge was added to Teitelbaum's bill in error.
"He shouldn't have gotten a bill," Nardo said. "I can check that out. If it's on there, we'll remove it."
Teitelbaum said he was glad to the fee was dropped because he would not have been able to afford the charge.
"I'm very happy," he said. "But it's to the point where you have to threaten people to do the right thing."
Larry Simms, president of the Alliance of Condo and Co-op Owners, said the case highlights the potential for abuse in co-op rules. He said tenants have few options if a co-op board decides to charge legal fees for cases without merit.
"There are no checks and balances," Simms said. "There are too many times when board members or managing agents are inclined to be abusive."