KENSINGTON — Dozens of frustrated fitness buffs who were left in the lurch when their gym abruptly closed this week want their membership fees refunded after the health club got slapped with an eviction notice this week.
Kensington Aerobics and Fitness shuttered suddenly on Monday after the city marshal hit the Caton Avenue gym with an eviction notice.
With no means of reaching the owner, yearly members who have paid hundreds of dollars are flooding their local assemblyman and city marshals offices with calls on how to recoup their losses
“It’s infuriating,” said Kensington resident Heather Wells, who bought a yearly membership to the gym for $300 in May and arrived there Wednesday to discover it had closed. “They just closed and left us all high and dry.”
A confusing note posted in the window states: “Kensington fitness gym will be closed indefinitely until further notice Kensington fitness gym is still here. Thank you.”
The City Marshal executed an eviction notice that was posted on Aug. 18 after attorney Jeffery Edelman, who represents the owner of 202 Caton Ave., filed for the warrant on July 23 because the gym's owner owes back rent, according to Jake Love, the marshal's chief judgment clerk.
Neither Edelman nor Kensington Aerobics and Fitness returned requests for comment Thursday. The owner of 202 Caton Ave. could not be reached.
Under state law, health clubs are legally required to file a bond, letter of credit or certificate of deposit with the Secretary of State and place all advance fees in escrow to protect customers if a gym closes before patrons' contracts expire, according to Department of State spokesman Laz Benitez.
Gym members are entitled to sue and may even be eligible to receive up to three times the actual damages, plus attorneys fee, Benitez added.
Spurned members can file complaints with the state Division of Consumer Protection or with state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office.
Assemblyman Robert Carroll's office has received nearly 40 calls since Monday from people complaining about the closure who are in conversation with Schneiderman's office to help refund customers and possibly take action against the gym, said the assemblyman's chief of staff, Dan Campanelli.