Help Renters Understand Association Life

Loura K. Sanchez | Friday, January 25, 2013 | Community Associations Miscellaneous

Renter or Tenants are often labeled as troublemakers in communities or the cause of reduced property values. Many associations consider prohibiting or limiting rental of units in their community for this reason alone.
However, there may be less aggressive and cheaper ways to address concerns. For example, consider leasing rules which:

  • Require all leases to include a provision making a violation of association governing documents a breach of the lease;
  • Provide owners with a letter to give to their tenants explaining life in your association. What is expected and how issues are addressed. Contact any of our attorneys for a model letter your association can use;
  • Require owners to provide a copy of the lease to the association;
  • Encourage owners to run background checks on tenants;
  • Make is clear that the owner is responsible for all actions of the tenant and fines will be imposed against the owner; and
  • Modify your declaration to give the association the right to evict a tenant if there is a violation of the lease and the owner fails to evict.


For more information about how to address concerns with rentals in your community, contact us at 303.432.9999.

Comments

We do make it plain that the owner is responsible for the fines of their tenants. But in the end we have virtually no effect because the owners just pass the fine on to their tenant by a clause in the lease and completely exempt themselves from any responsibility. Including they don't give their tenants a copy of our rules, communicate zero support for our values and refuse to participate in hearings that their tenants request. This is by intentional design of a property management company who manages a large number of rental units in our community. They get themselves and their clients out of any expense of policing their tenants and shift that expense right back on the HOA. Needless to say their tenants are frequent fliers in violations and are dragging our community down and even endangering the other residents by not being informed of safety issues. The fines have no effect on marketing their units because there is annual turnover of a basically captive college student population. The Association has no choice but to try to reach residents with the rules ourselves, at our expense. We are not collecting a management fee directly from the rental investment owner for this effort, it is spread to owner occupied units as well by higher dues on everyone. Nor can we be as effective since we don't have the same line of communication or influence on tenants as the landlord or rental manager has. We need some way to actually make the buck stop on the owners or their rental manager to affect the real goal of rules: prevention of the problem in the first place. Haven't found that yet.

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