The Honest Broker: Condo Renters and Homeowner Association’s
BY: Diane Lott, Broker
Paradise Found Realty
Every day, more people decide to rent property from within homeowner’s associations. Leasing units can earn a nice profit for landlords, but this business venture comes with risks for renters. If property owners belong to a homeowners’ association, tenants may face unexpected issues. Some renters unknowingly break the HOA’s rules and regulations. Homeowners may also pay hefty fines, because of their tenants’ violations.
HOAs require property owners to follow their covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R). These enforceable legal documents list what residents can do with their property. They might prohibit residents from having pets or can restrict parking in specific areas.
The HOA expects both the renter and homeowner to abide by the regulations. Landlords must enforce the community’s rules when tenants lease property from them. Homeowners must abide by the maintenance guidelines of their association.
An HOA may ask homeowners to take the following actions when renting their property to tenants.
- Landlords should ensure renters follow all HOA rules in their rental agreements.
- Homeowners should provide rental agreements with HOA rules to tenants. These legal documents ensure renters comply with the association’s regulations. The contracts should contain the landlord’s emergency contact information.
- Property owners must give governing documents (CC&Rs) and HOA rules to tenants before they move in.
- Homeowners are responsible for tenants’ violations.
- Renters must submit all requests to the HOA through the property owners.
- Some HOAs have regulations about how long tenants can lease a property. They can also limit the number of units that landowners rent.
Homeowners’ associations cannot take direct action against renters that break their CC&Rs. They must notify landlords about the violation, and the owners must handle the issues. The HOA may request that the renter sign the HOA rules and regulations as a condition of their approval. HOA’s can assess fines against the landlord if the tenant breaks the rules. The owners can recoup the fine if it’s outlined in the lease. Problem renters can be denied a lease renewal by the association if they fail to adhere to any rules and regulations of the association or be a disturbance to residents in nearby units.
There are a few exceptions to this process. HOAs don’t need to contact landowners if tenants commit a crime. They can contact law enforcement, instead. The group can also tow renters’ cars. It is the tenants’ responsibility to pay these fines.