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Subject: Repeated Police Visits to Curb Noise and Altercations
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CarolynM3
(Georgia)

Posts:43


04/11/2018 1:19 PM  
Hello,

Would like to get some ideas on how to address this issue that has surfaced in our condo on more than one occasion:

A homeowner is leasing a unit to a tenant who has been the source of police calls for what appears to be fighting in the condo. The homeowner was notified and told that this was a warning. Since that happened, the police have been called out 2 more times regarding this problem. However, it has been difficult for us to gather facts because the homeowner that lives right over the tenant refuses to contact the police and basically wants to stay out of it.

The homeowner has received a letter regarding this issue and indicated that the tenant was warned of this behavior. (not sure what that means)

There are other homeowners that are furious because it sounds like someone is being body slammed in the unit. There are several concerns: a. the noise, and b. the possibility of someone getting seriously injured.

We have a "nuisance" clause in out declarations and our rules and regulations. Right now they are sufficiently vague, but they do enable the Board to further define the "definition" of nuisance and the associated penalties for the same.

The questions I have are as follows:

a. How does one deal with "homeowners that want to complain, but do not want to call the police when issue rise". It is as if they want the Board to be responsible for what seems to be a "civil" issue.
b. There are some homeowners that are very upset (one is a Board member who left work in the middle of the day when he was told the fighting was happening again and the police had been called); we do have this cooperation. Can we use these recorded visits by the police as a way of showing that there is a recurring, long-term problem?
c. Has any other community had to deal with this kind of issue? If so, suggestions for handling. For example, could we add clauses to our "leasing agreement" that would make this kind of offense grounds for termination of the lease agreement?

All feedback would be appreciate.

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15823


04/11/2018 1:36 PM  
Posted By CarolynM3 on 04/11/2018 1:19 PM

a. How does one deal with "homeowners that want to complain, but do not want to call the police when issue rise". It is as if they want the Board to be responsible for what seems to be a "civil" issue.




We explain that without a police report, the Associations hands are tied and can do little.
The police report documents the issue allowing the Association to take action.
The Association cannot call the police because they are not a witness.
The choice is the members to contact the police or not.



Posted By CarolynM3 on 04/11/2018 1:19 PM

b. There are some homeowners that are very upset (one is a Board member who left work in the middle of the day when he was told the fighting was happening again and the police had been called); we do have this cooperation. Can we use these recorded visits by the police as a way of showing that there is a recurring, long-term problem?




Yes. However, you don't control the lease.
You contact the owner and hold them accountable for the actions of their tenants by imposing monetary penalties or taking the issue to court. I would suspect that once the owner is aware of the issue and that other actions will be taking place, they will take action (even if it's simply not renewing the lease).




Posted By CarolynM3 on 04/11/2018 1:19 PM

c. Has any other community had to deal with this kind of issue? If so, suggestions for handling. For example, could we add clauses to our "leasing agreement" that would make this kind of offense grounds for termination of the lease agreement?




The HOA is not party to a lease.

I've provided, in my other answers, how we would handle.


KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5376


04/11/2018 2:01 PM  
It sounds like you're a condo or THs HOA, Carolyn?

Anyway, our condo HOA and many other types of HOA have a nuisance clause in the CC&Rs. We have always used it when units have residents who are noisy. This usually has been in the form of parties on balconies where the noise continues after 10pm, when everyone should quiet down per our rules. Those disturbed call our security staff who visit the noisemakers & tell them to go inside & quiet down. If they repeat this noise violation, we call them to a hearing and may fine the owner. Fines may double with any repeat offense(s).

We do not require the neighbors who are disturbed to call the police. All we need is complaints about noise that is corroborated by board members or staffers to take action so that residents may peacefully enjoy their homes.

So...if you have other witnesses, whoever called the police and also your board member, call the owners to a hearing by whatever procedure your documents or your state allow. And fine the owner according to your documents.

You cannot force the resident above (who may fear retaliation) to complain to your board, but there obviously are enough others who're disturbed that, imo, you should take action.

AugustinD


Posts:1045


04/11/2018 3:30 PM  
Posted By CarolynM3 on 04/11/2018 1:19 PM

a. How does one deal with "homeowners that want to complain, but do not want to call the police when issue rise". It is as if they want the Board to be responsible for what seems to be a "civil" issue.


If there is a nuisance clause in the governing documents, then the situation described does call for HOA involvement.

However at a minimum a formal complaint to the HOA should be requested of all those objecting. This is for legal reasons.
DouglasM6
(Arizona)

Posts:724


04/11/2018 3:44 PM  
The Board needs to have a meeting with the owner of the unit. Explain in detail what is happening and begin the fining, assuming the BOD has the authority to fine.

It's not rocket science, just pretend you are the government. The government doesn't stop people from doing things, they make the people want to stop. If the owner has it in the lease that all fines received from the HOA because of the actions of the tenant shall be added to the rent, then the owner may be waiting for the fines so he/she can pass them along to the tenant. Once the tenant is paying too many fines it becomes cheaper to live somewhere else. If the owner did not place that provision in the lease, and therefore cannot roll the fines into the rent, then the owner will realize the loss of revenue and either raise the rent, at the end of the lease period, or simply not renew.

I agree with the others on these points-
The HOA should not call the police, but can take action.
If the other owner(s) are not willing to call the police, it's a non issue for the HOA.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7475


04/11/2018 3:59 PM  
Keep in mind that there are things like "Tenant's rights". Which means the homeowner's hands may be tied in evicting their tenants. They may not be in violation of their lease agreement IF the owner does not have it written in their lease to follow the HOA rules. Most people do not put that in and it's NOT in a standard off the shelve versions. So the owner may not be able to evict the tenant if they are paying their rent timely and in no other violation to the lease agreement.

Plus the "Tenant's Rights" are in place to protect renters from scrupulous owners. Like if the owner doesn't pay for a necessary repair (life/death repair) then the tenant has the right to withhold rent till fixed. That's just an EXAMPLE. Each state has different laws/conditions on how to break a lease. The HOA can't break someone else's lease agreement.

I bring this up so one can understand why an owner who knowingly has a bad nuisance tenant can't necessarily "evict" the tenant. It's a process. Even in my state there are 2 10 day notices that have to be served. 1 10 working day notice for the intent to evict. The 2nd 10 working day of eviction. Finally if the renter does not move out, there is a 2 week for the Sherriff to move them out. Which if that happens, they will put everything out in the front yard. Another nuisance for the HOA.

This is something I learned in my rental experience. Took me 5 months to evict my renter. He stopped paying, moved a baby Emu into the back yard, and worked on motorcycles on my carpet...

Former HOA President
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5376


04/11/2018 4:54 PM  
That's how we do it and it works very well per what Douglas wrote: "The Board needs to have a meeting with the owner of the unit. Explain in detail what is happening and begin the fining, assuming the BOD has the authority to fine. "

Do not let up--keep fining as long as the bad behavior continues. If it doesn't stop after repeated hearings & fines against the Owner, Either the tenant will move or the Owner will evict them--doesn't matter how long it takes.

Hey, wait a minute, Carolyn: Are you on the board?
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