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Subject: Board approval of tenants
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CraigK
(Florida)

Posts:9


01/23/2008 5:29 PM  
I have a question about BOD approval of renters in a HOA townhome association in Florida.

Our covenants say,

“Prior to occupancy by the Lessee, the Owner and the Lessee shall apply for and obtain approval of the Board of Directors, in writing, for the Lessee to take occupany. The Lessee shall confirm to the Board that the Lessee has been provided a copy of this Declaration and Exhibits thereto, and any Rules and Regulations of the Association.”

I am unclear what circumstances would allow the BOD to NOT approve a Lessee. From the covenant above, it seems to only be if the potential Lessee was not informed of the various by-laws, etc. There are no other criteria published in the Covenants. What circumstances would allow a potential Lessee to be denied?
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/23/2008 5:49 PM  

Craig,
I have had mulitple rentals for 7 years in Florida. Each and every Association has these rules. It is the duty of the landlord/owner to make sure that each and every tenant to be knows the rules before you get as far as signing the lease. That will save you and your association many many headaches so I call it "preventative medicine"

Boards may require these interview and background checks. That is perfectly legal and an accepted practice.

Most tenant interviews have an agreement written which they ask a prospective tenant to sign stateing that the tenant has read and agrees to the rules and regs of the association.

Can they deny someone? NO unless they have found something in a background check such as a "sexual preditor or violent convict" Just because they don't like someone or anything similar, they cannot deny residency to the applicant.
CraigK
(Florida)

Posts:9


01/23/2008 7:04 PM  
Thanks, yet again, Donna.

So is it ok for the tenants to say the agree to abide by all rules that are legally enforceable?
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/24/2008 6:29 AM  

Absolutely,

Whenever I have a new tenant and they are required to go for the "Interview", I always sit in the meeting. It gives the Board the idea that I am a concerned landlord. And being a Board member, I have sat in the background, acting as a Liaison to the Board. Only once, did a prospective renter give the interview committee, a less than friendly time.

I asked if I could interupt and was granted the ability to address this guy. Basically , he was being defensive because he had an attitude and the interviewer was "too old", according to him. Well, it worked out as I was middle aged and pointed out some facts of life and that this is what the life style would be for him IF he wanted to live in a community with rules. He mellowed, they signed his occupancy certificate and he is still a resident there after 7 years. Signing the certificate allows the Board to use it in case he states that he did not know the rules. That's all it is used for.
All associations in Florida use this certificate system.It is filed in the association office with all of the documentation of the unit and renter.
RaymondC
(Minnesota)

Posts:64


01/24/2008 4:59 PM  
"So is it ok for the tenants to say the agree to abide by all rules that are legally enforceable?

Nope! This is an attempt to weasel and can result in endless arguments about what is "legal". The tenants agree to abide by all the rules of the association, or they dont' get in. Frankly anyone proposing this to me is raising a flag that they are going to be nothing but headaches. Associations do not make a practice of passing illegal rules, and don't need self-appointed lawyers moving in to evaluate each of them.

Just my 2 cents....
CraigK
(Florida)

Posts:9


01/24/2008 5:18 PM  
I must respond to RaymondC's condescending remark about "self-appointed" lawyers. The U.S. is desinged as a government for the people, by the people. People are ultimately judged by a jury of peers. It is the responsibility of each of us to study and understand the laws. Ostensibly we are in control of them. Lawyers are not.

In no cases, do lawyers make actual legal determination in their role as lawyers. Lawyers give opinions, advice and representation. We are each responsible for evaluating laws. We are under no obligation to follow what a lawyer recommends. We are, however, under an obligation to follow a law. To do so, we must use our judgement and reason to interpret the law.

When there is a dispute, if we are asked to serve on a jury, we are given the duty to interpret laws. To rely on lawyers is abdicating your responsibility as a citizen.

That's my two cents on that one.

----

As for saying, "abide by all rules that are legally enforceable" as an attempt to weasel, I take exception to that as well. It is an attempt to be clear and not mislead. We obviously have no duty to abide by illegal rules, but this is an attempt to be very clear about our intentions. To agree to abide by all rules can be difficult, especially in cases where there are conflicting rules.

Though associations may not make a "practice" of passing illegal rules, they still do it on occasion. I am finding it is more often than should be expected.

Is RaymondC advocating that we agree to allow the association to violate the law or not move in? This would seemingly allow associations to run amuck.
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/25/2008 7:37 AM  

Raymond,

It sounds like you are not in a HOA and if you are, then is it that you do not understand that tenants are required by documents of the community to abide by the rules that they have agreed to do.

Below is the definition of legal and it seems to fit what associations are requesting them to follow.

Definitions of legal on the Web:

established by or founded upon law or official or accepted rules
of or relating to jurisprudence; "legal loophole"
having legal efficacy or force; "a sound title to the property"
relating to or characteristic of the profession of law; "the legal profession"
allowed by official rules; "a legal pass receiver"
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
RaymondC
(Minnesota)

Posts:64


01/25/2008 10:04 AM  
Too many comments attempting to characterize me. Stay with the issue.

I am secretary of the board of a 77 unit condo. I am well aware they need to follow the rules, and I am very familiar with weasel words.

Have a good day, folks!
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