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Subject: Requirements of landlords to disclose HOA
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Author Messages
WilliamC15
(Florida)

Posts:18


06/12/2018 7:46 AM  
Hi, is there any requirement in the statutes or otherwise that a landlord who is renting to a tenant in a HOA governed neighborhood disclose to the potential tenant that they are renting in a HOA governed neighborhood? And likewise is there a requirement that the landlord present the potential tenant a copy of the CC&R or other documents?

I'm asking because I spoke with a tenant who just moved in and is renting from American Homes 4 Rent and he said that he was NOT told this is a HOA governed neighborhood. I see this a lot with renters in here, they live like they have no idea as they don't trim trees as required, they park in the street and on the grass, which is prohibited. So I've had a feeling they weren't being told.

Thanks for any responses.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:440


06/12/2018 8:04 AM  
Good question.

Couple of points:
- leases SHOULD have this in them - mine do with the rental management company I use (I have houses in a neighborhood in which I am a Board member)
- regardless of whether renters have been told, it continues to be the responsibility of the OWNER to abide by the CC&Rs; and, is their responsibility to see that their renters abide

To me it sounds like there are two levels:
1. Association to Owner
2. Owner to Renter

I think Board communications for enforcement would be to the Owners, first, with perhaps a copy to the Renters. Followup action, including future legal action would from Board to Owner, I think.

I don't know if there is a legal issue between Owners and Renters if the Owner did not clearly provide information, or if it is absent in the lease.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7534


06/12/2018 3:16 PM  
Unfortunately, no there is not a legal requirement for an owner to tell their tenant they are in a HOA. There is a requirement in many states the owner has to turn over the HOA's documents to the new buyer at/by closing. As for the landlord/tenant relationship that is something the HOA is a 3rd party to. Renters are not members nor do they pay the HOA's dues.

Now a "smart" landlord will have the caveat about following the HOA's rules and providing a copy of the documentation. A HOA may also recommend to members to have that in their lease agreements. The issue being IF this caveat is NOT in the lease agreement, then the landlord can not evict a tenant violating the HOA's rules. Which makes them stuck with a violating tenant of which may cost them fines.

So no there is not a "law" but it is strongly recommended a responsible owner does inform their tenant. It's not the HOA's job to do so. The HOA has to talk to the owner/member.

Former HOA President
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5535


06/12/2018 3:41 PM  
While not a law, many CC&Rs like ours require that owners give tenants copies of the CC&Rs and Rules & Regs.
What do yours say, William?

If lots of tenants are breaking your rules, then send courtesy (warning) letters to the owners telling them to instruct their tenants to comply and if tenants do not, start whatever procedures you have for fining the Owners

BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:525


06/12/2018 4:03 PM  
I don't know about Florida but generally a tenant is not legally required to be informed of CC&Rs because the owner is responsible for them, not the tenant.

Since the CC&Rs are, essentially, a contract between the owners, they can only be enforced against owners. If there is a violation, the owner should be fined or served with the violation notice or warning. Obviously, it is in the owner's interest to inform tenants of the rules and they should be included with the lease.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2288


06/12/2018 10:54 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 06/12/2018 3:41 PM
While not a law, many CC&Rs like ours require that owners give tenants copies of the CC&Rs and Rules & Regs.

That's how it is in my HOA as well. We have a written policy on leasing that says an owner who intends to become a landlord must include a clause in the lease disclosing that the home is part of an HOA and an acknowledgment by the tenant.

If the tenant causes any issues you'd normally pursue the homeowner for any violations, regadless of whether the tenant is aware of the HOA's covenats, rules, regulations, etc.
JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:381


06/13/2018 8:03 AM  
In many cases, the CCRs have a statement that owners, tenants, families, guests and other persons shall be bound by and strictly comply with the provisions, and that the association can enforce the documents on tenants through the courts and sometimes impose penalties directly on tenants. So in these cases, the CCRs (and Rules) apply to tenants not just owners.

It is just a lot easier to go after the owner, and put fines (and liens) on the owner, rather than take a tenant to court, but that does not mean the CCRs do not apply to tenants (as long as that language is there).
EdC5
(Florida)

Posts:55


06/13/2018 8:40 AM  
As a Florida CAM I'll add my 3 cents. Tenants, as well as owners, are required to abide by the associations documents (CC&Rs, Rules & Regulations, etc.) per statute (see below).

720.305 Obligations of members; remedies at law or in equity; levy of fines and suspension of use rights.—
(1) Each member and the member’s tenants, guests, and invitees, and each association, are governed by, and must comply with, this chapter, the governing documents of the community, and the rules of the association. Actions at law or in equity, or both, to redress alleged failure or refusal to comply with these provisions may be brought by the association or by any member against:
(a) The association;
(b) A member;
(c) Any director or officer of an association who willfully and knowingly fails to comply with these provisions; and
(d) Any tenants, guests, or invitees occupying a parcel or using the common areas.

Edward J Cooke, CMCA, LCAM
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:440


06/13/2018 12:01 PM  
Ed,

Yeah, makes sense and is clear in 720 - but, the devil is in the details.

I'm not sure the Association can fine the tenant - nor take them to court, etc ... HOA could can do both to the owner.

Interesting topic ...
SharonW3
(North Carolina)

Posts:19


06/13/2018 3:34 PM  
We have a "Resident Information" form that we ask all landlords to submit to the association with a copy of the lease. It asks if tenant has been provided a copy of our Community Standards, parking rules & pool rules. Also, our city requires rentals to be registered with our police dept. So, we ask that all be registered. This form allows the board to put the tenant's name into the call box and issue pool passes. BTW, our community standards are a common language edition of our CC&R's. The board makes it clear to all management companies/landlords that we do fine for tenant violations. By holding the owner responsible, it only takes 1-2 fines to get their attention and they start qualifying their prospective renters. Our docs are clear on the owner being responsible for their tenants.
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1295


06/14/2018 5:59 AM  
Legally, the HOA only has a business arrangement w/ property owners and should not be addressing property matters w/ tenants. There's no way to enforce anything against tenants. However, the tenant's behavior, regarding HOA rules, falls under the landlord and the landlord is technically subject to sanction.

Criminal behavior would certainly be excepted and tenants answer to laws and ordinances. At least, that's how I see it.
EdC5
(Florida)

Posts:55


06/14/2018 7:24 AM  
I'm not an attorney, but the plain reading of FL chapt. 720 does (seem) to bind not only the owners but the tenants as well to the docs, rules, etc. Additionally, as I read it, the HOA can pursue action against tenants, not just owners, per: 720.305: "Actions at law or in equity, or both, to redress alleged failure or refusal to comply with these provisions may be brought by the association or by any member against: (d) Any tenants, guests, or invitees occupying a parcel or using the common areas."

Edward J Cooke, CMCA, LCAM
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:440


06/14/2018 9:10 AM  
Good stuff, Ed!

I’m gonna read more about this provision.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5535


06/14/2018 12:50 PM  
I, too, hasd heard that FL allows HOAs to discipline tenant, but didn't know where it was. Good find, Ed.
JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:381


06/14/2018 1:09 PM  
Posted By KellyM3 on 06/14/2018 5:59 AM
Legally, the HOA only has a business arrangement w/ property owners and should not be addressing property matters w/ tenants. There's no way to enforce anything against tenants. However, the tenant's behavior, regarding HOA rules, falls under the landlord and the landlord is technically subject to sanction.

Criminal behavior would certainly be excepted and tenants answer to laws and ordinances. At least, that's how I see it.



There are quite a few legal avenues to address property matters with tenants.

Some states have laws that allow the governing documents to be enforced directly against tenants, such as the Florida law presented here by Ed.

Other states specifically allow the association to levy fines directly on tenants.

The governing documents themselves may contain statements that the docs are enforceable against owners, guests and tenants.

Some documents (and some state laws) allow the association to control leasing and can require rules in the lease (or a lease addendum) that give the association authority over tenants.

If your docs don't contain these statements, it may be possible to add them as amendments.

All that said, it is usually easier and cheaper to go after the owner instead of the tenant.
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