Our client recently found out the peril of relying on city government to respond timely when a $40,000 fine turned into a $118,000 fine with interest and penalties over an emergency repair made upon property by HPD (Housing Preservation and Development) during transition of property between owners.
As a consequence of trying to re-sell the property five years later the emergency repair costs were disclosed by the potential buyer at closing. Our customer, the seller in this case, indemnified the purchaser from the charges in order to effect the sale.
The Seller, not our client back then, subsequently revisited the issue with the city agency and provided requested information as well as Title documentation. Over 7 years pass and the new Owner of the property is trying to sell, only to discover those past outstanding emergency repair charges still attached to real property by DoB (Department of Buildings) and New York Department of Finance.
Our customer, having not gotten any response from the city agency that requested further information over 7 years ago, assumed emergency repairs had been expunged given his extremely valid written arguments as well as the delivery of necessary documentation previously requested .
Newly installed agency leadership after being asked to review the history of charge challenge and valid arguments offered has taken position that right to dispute had expired according to limitation set by law. Which decision has now caused a six figure financial conundrum for all parties involved!
Moral of the story: follow up with city government is time consuming but can be more costly later!