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Subject: Texas - Background Checks on Tenants
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BeverlyC
(Texas)

Posts:5


11/08/2017 10:14 AM  
We are a multifamily Condominium. We have been told my our new management company that we can no longer require background checks on tenants who lease from owners. stating the risk is too great due to a change in the hud/housing laws. Is there anyone who can give us more information on this? Do we now have to allow all felons/drug dealers/prostitutes?
TimM11


Posts:102


11/08/2017 10:26 AM  
Posted By BeverlyC on 11/08/2017 10:14 AM
We are a multifamily Condominium. We have been told my our new management company that we can no longer require background checks on tenants who lease from owners. stating the risk is too great due to a change in the hud/housing laws. Is there anyone who can give us more information on this? Do we now have to allow all felons/drug dealers/prostitutes?




If you are an FHA-approved condo, then yes, the HOA or BOD cannot require them. The individual unit owners themselves, however, can if they so choose. More information is available here: https://fhareview.com/the-guidlines-fhaapprovalguidlines/.

SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:1986


11/08/2017 10:36 AM  
It's really not the HOA's place to screen them because the lease is between the individual homeowner and the tenant, not the HOA. There could also be concerns with discrimination based on race, nationality, religion, etc. Believe it or not, there are convicted people who've done their time and turned their lives around, and are good neighbors.

The key to reducing or preventing mayhem by any tenant is fair and consistent rules enforcement and holding the owner/landlord's feet to the fire if his/her tenants get out of hand. Remember, bad behavior isn't just limited to drug dealers, felons and prostitutes - there are equally repulsive people who rent out homes and have never been arrested.

GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1631


11/08/2017 8:27 PM  
Posted By SheliaH on 11/08/2017 10:36 AM
The key to reducing or preventing mayhem by any tenant is fair and consistent rules enforcement and holding the owner/landlord's feet to the fire if his/her tenants get out of hand. Remember, bad behavior isn't just limited to drug dealers, felons and prostitutes - there are equally repulsive people who rent out homes and have never been arrested.

We have one home that was rented out when the 88-year-old owner had to move into an assisted living facility. He hired a rental management agency to find him a tenant. We checked out the manager (public records only) and found out that he's not a very upstanding citizen. Anyway, this manager found a tenant alright, a drug dealer who's arrest record on the county sheriff's website goes back years.

Neither the tenant or his guests/customers break any of our rules. They don't park on the grass, they don't make a lot of noise, they don't let their dog run amuck. There is, however, a constant stream of vehicles coming and going. This tenant's customers have been responsible, this year alone, for 2 attempted break-ins and 1 attempted home invasion. Also a few calls to the sherrif's department for domestic violence complaints (these have all been in the daytime so there's no shouting or carrying on in the street or outside the home.

So there are no violations per se of the covenants, restrictions or rules & regulations. We have nothing to go to the homeowner (or his "rental agent") with to demand compliance with the governing documents. Local law enforcement knows about the illicit activities going on but has so far - since January - not taken any action against them. So we're stuck.

Had we been able to do background checks on these people ahead of time there's no way they'd be living here. Their records are notorious and well-known in the larger community, i.e. the city and the county. I think that's exactly the type of thing you have to show in order to avoid a discrimination lawsuit.

So we're stuck until the sheriff's department takes action against them or they blatantly start to violate our rules. We intend to pass an amendment to our Declaration (CC&Rs) next year to give the association the right to screen and pre-approve any owner's proposed tenants.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:894


11/09/2017 6:09 AM  
Posted By GenoS on 11/08/2017 8:27 PM
There is, however, a constant stream of vehicles coming and going. This tenant's customers have been responsible, this year alone, for 2 attempted break-ins and 1 attempted home invasion. Also a few calls to the sherrif's department for domestic violence complaints (these have all been in the daytime so there's no shouting or carrying on in the street or outside the home.


Hopefully the police will move on it eventually. We have a house behind ours that is not in the subdivision. We saw the same thing with cars coming and going with short visits all hours of the day and night. I talked to a friend who is a county deputy, he said the drug group was aware of it, investigating, and building their case, but that could take a while. After at least 6 months they had a 6am drug bust and arrested 5 people for meth trafficking.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:307


11/09/2017 6:28 AM  
Posted By GenoS on 11/08/2017 8:27 PM
Posted By SheliaH on 11/08/2017 10:36 AM
The key to reducing or preventing mayhem by any tenant is fair and consistent rules enforcement and holding the owner/landlord's feet to the fire if his/her tenants get out of hand. Remember, bad behavior isn't just limited to drug dealers, felons and prostitutes - there are equally repulsive people who rent out homes and have never been arrested.

We have one home that was rented out when the 88-year-old owner had to move into an assisted living facility. He hired a rental management agency to find him a tenant. We checked out the manager (public records only) and found out that he's not a very upstanding citizen. Anyway, this manager found a tenant alright, a drug dealer who's arrest record on the county sheriff's website goes back years.

Neither the tenant or his guests/customers break any of our rules. They don't park on the grass, they don't make a lot of noise, they don't let their dog run amuck. There is, however, a constant stream of vehicles coming and going. This tenant's customers have been responsible, this year alone, for 2 attempted break-ins and 1 attempted home invasion. Also a few calls to the sherrif's department for domestic violence complaints (these have all been in the daytime so there's no shouting or carrying on in the street or outside the home.

So there are no violations per se of the covenants, restrictions or rules & regulations. We have nothing to go to the homeowner (or his "rental agent") with to demand compliance with the governing documents. Local law enforcement knows about the illicit activities going on but has so far - since January - not taken any action against them. So we're stuck.

Had we been able to do background checks on these people ahead of time there's no way they'd be living here. Their records are notorious and well-known in the larger community, i.e. the city and the county. I think that's exactly the type of thing you have to show in order to avoid a discrimination lawsuit.

So we're stuck until the sheriff's department takes action against them or they blatantly start to violate our rules. We intend to pass an amendment to our Declaration (CC&Rs) next year to give the association the right to screen and pre-approve any owner's proposed tenants.




Geno. Are you in a guard gated community? Perhaps your BOD can limit the number of "visitors" that are allowed into the community at one time.

LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:307


11/09/2017 6:42 AM  
I FIRMLY believe that HOA's should have the ultimate power In evicting chronic problem homeowners and chronic problem tenants renting a property.

I worked security in a 300 unit "luxury" condo tower. When the encndmy hit the skids, unit owners began to rent out their units to anyone that could fog a mirror.
We had an array of characters, MS-13, Pimps, Hookers, drug dealers, more gangsters, no Goodfellas though, they probably would have kept the rest of the riff raff in check.

The problem we encountered was in a span of four months, 3 police SWAT lockdowns of the ENTIRE complex, daily barrage of hooker walks paying their pimps, visitors to one
unit for porn production even though there was supposed to be no more than 4 visitors to one unit at a time.

The problem I even encountered was being pulled over in my personal vehicle after leaving the job site by vice for the purpose of intelligence gathering.
TimM11


Posts:102


11/09/2017 7:34 AM  
Posted By LetA on 11/09/2017 6:42 AM
I FIRMLY believe that HOA's should have the ultimate power In evicting chronic problem homeowners and chronic problem tenants renting a property.




Isn't that what the fine/lien/foreclosure process is for? Of course, the extent of what HOAs can do with it varies by state.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:6788


11/09/2017 3:31 PM  
Foreclosures/liens are for non-payment of dues only. It's not because of the "bad behavior" of the member. That would fall under Fines. Which many states do not allow for the lien/foreclosure to be based on fines.

Former HOA President
TimM11


Posts:102


11/10/2017 6:29 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 11/09/2017 3:31 PM
Foreclosures/liens are for non-payment of dues only. It's not because of the "bad behavior" of the member. That would fall under Fines. Which many states do not allow for the lien/foreclosure to be based on fines.




Depends where you live. My state allows it.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:6788


11/10/2017 7:07 AM  
Which state is that? Fines are like parking ticket. They are punitive damages and used to correct bad behavior. Liens/Foreclosures is based on non payment of a required bill. It's like if you don't pay your utilities, they cut your power off.

I don't know of any state that allows a HOA to evict a tenant or an owner based on violation of the rules/behavior. Atleast not legally unless you can BS your way into making someone believe that. Non-payment of money owed a HOA get you out.

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7010


11/10/2017 8:10 AM  
The way some associations do it is they deduct any fines levied from the dues payment thus the dues are overdue and can be foreclosed on.

You can rant and rave all day about this, but it can be done in some states. Our attorney said though it can be done, SC courts will not look favorably on it so he suggests it not be done.
NigelB
(Texas)

Posts:205


11/10/2017 2:26 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 11/10/2017 8:10 AM
The way some associations do it is they deduct any fines levied from the dues payment thus the dues are overdue and can be foreclosed on.

You can rant and rave all day about this, but it can be done in some states. Our attorney said though it can be done, SC courts will not look favorably on it so he suggests it not be done.




Can't happen in Texas. Amounts must first be applied to assessments and no foreclosures can happen if the overdue amount consists solely of fines, admin fees, or attorney fees
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1631


11/10/2017 8:40 PM  
Posted By LetA on 11/09/2017 6:28 AM
Geno. Are you in a guard gated community? Perhaps your BOD can limit the number of "visitors" that are allowed into the community at one time.

LetA, we are in a gated community with a 28 year-old guardhouse that has never been staffed (the landscape contractors' employees use its restroom). The gate controller system is old and without many features, i.e. it doesn't log timestamps for ins and outs (2 separate gates). We don't have any cameras either, so collecting data on vehicles that come and go (and when) is a problem. Every couple of years someone suggests we get a camera for the front gate and the price tag always ends up being too expensive for us. You can get cheap ones but for any kind of low-light situation, such as nighttime, the cameras are expensive. We may have to think about spending the money regardless if things get any worse.

I (and others that live in my HOA) agree with you that WE should have the ultimate say in who lives here, at least as far as an owner's tenants are concerned.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14860


11/11/2017 2:00 AM  
Since nobody provided references, here is a link to the April 4, 2016 HUD General Counsel Guidance.
I think it says everything in fairly straight forward language.

The title of the paper is:

Office of General Counsel Guidance on Application of Fair Housing Act Standards to the Use of Criminal
Records by Providers of Housing and Real Estate


https://www.hud.gov/sites/documents/HUD_OGCGUIDAPPFHASTANDCR.PDF

Your MC is doing the Association a favor. You don't want to be on the receiving end of a violation of this act.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1631


11/11/2017 1:20 PM  
And, to be sure, some states - like Florida - have their own Fair Housing statutes that adhere to the federal law and then ADD more things on top.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1631


11/11/2017 1:25 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 11/11/2017 2:00 AM
Office of General Counsel Guidance on Application of Fair Housing Act Standards to the Use of Criminal Records by Providers of Housing and Real Estate

https://www.hud.gov/sites/documents/HUD_OGCGUIDAPPFHASTANDCR.PDF

No discrimination based on "race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status or national origin"

Hmmm. Says nothing about naturally born persons (i.e. human beings). There's a legal notion that businesses enjoy at least some of the legal rights and responsibilities enjoyed by natural persons. Corporations are people, and all that.

Could we deny a sale to a corporation?
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1631


11/11/2017 1:25 PM  
Sorry, all of that was not Tim's quote. My stuff starts right after the link.
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