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Subject: What is the likelihood of a landlord keeping a noisy tenant that’s causing fines?
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DanielleG4
(Florida)

Posts:31


06/05/2021 7:14 AM  


(FL)
I would advise checking previous posts to get more info. I am doing digging online and other forums are saying that my noisy neighbor may continue to live there even if the HOA disburses fines. She rents so the owner would be fined? It’s a condo complex, when I spoke to the HOA manager they mentioned the process but others are saying that the fines may not bother the owner & the owner may not even attend the hearing if a fine ends up happening. I’m not sure how much the fine is for noise violation, is it not much? And do the fines get larger as more come up? I’m not hopeful at all this will work out, considering people are saying the fines may not even cause the owner/property manager to want to evict the tenant or not renew her lease.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10247


06/05/2021 7:41 AM  
The HOA is a 3rd party to the lease. They have no authority over the tenant just the owner. It's the owner's property. So until the owner had enough the tenant stays. Plus most lease agreements do not have in them that the Renter has to follow the HOA's rules. Which means the owner's hands are tied. They can't evict if no terms of the lease. Some states a tenant can stay and not pay rent for upwards to a year without being evicted. It is called "Tenant's Rights". The landlord has to recognize that and obey that law.

Former HOA President
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:444


06/05/2021 8:07 AM  
Nobody on the internet can predict the future. Nobody on the internet knows what your property manager will do or what the tenant will do or what the landlord will do or what will happen.

I have followed your story on multiple threads here and on Reddit. You keep hoping someone will tell you everything will be fine, as if “a stranger on the internet said it, so it must be true”.

What if we all said “don’t worry, your problem will totally be solved.” Does that mean anything? Are you going to wave your phone in front of your neighbor and say “these strangers on the internet said you would stop so you have to.”

You have been given tons of advice in multiple threads on multiple forums. Take it or keep posting in hopes that will magically fix things.

LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1244


06/05/2021 8:31 AM  
I can tell you personally that is could get ugly. You just may have to put the owner on notice. I totally empathize with you because I am a shift worker and I once lived in an apartment complex that had poured concrete for sub floors and wall to wall carpeting. at times it sounded like half inch subfloors with linoleum flooring with the cast of Riverdance living right above me.

I own and live in a a single family house and had a problem with a renter neighbor that had their housemates and visitors park their car blocking by driveway so I cannot ingress or egress from my garage. At first the HOA said this was a owner vs owner issue, I had to remind the HOA they are failing to enforce the CC&R'r regarding on street parking. After almost 18 months of continued harassment by my neighbor and several demand letter that the HOA summon the owner to a hearing to compel the owner to take action against the renter, I had to take action. It cost me about $300.00 out of pocket for an attorney to draft a few letters over a series of four months. After about six months the renter never had anyone park their car blocking my driveway again.

Honestly in this day and age where more and more people are self-absorbed and don't care or think about others, you have to take drastic measures.
AugustinD


Posts:601


06/05/2021 9:02 AM  
Posted By LetA on 06/05/2021 8:31 AM


I own and live in a a single family house and had a problem with a renter neighbor that had their housemates and visitors park their car blocking by driveway so I cannot ingress or egress from my garage. At first the HOA said this was a owner vs owner issue, I had to remind the HOA they are failing to enforce the CC&R'r regarding on street parking. After almost 18 months of continued harassment by my neighbor and several demand letter that the HOA summon the owner to a hearing to compel the owner to take action against the renter, I had to take action. It cost me about $300.00 out of pocket for an attorney to draft a few letters over a series of four months. After about six months the renter never had anyone park their car blocking my driveway again.

Honestly in this day and age where more and more people are self-absorbed and don't care or think about others, you have to take drastic measures.
-- I think this is a very helpful anecdote. But LetA, only $300, and for several attorney letters? Was this in the last ten years? I would expect an attorney bill of more like $3000.


JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:624


06/05/2021 9:43 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 06/05/2021 7:41 AM
The HOA is a 3rd party to the lease. They have no authority over the tenant just the owner. It's the owner's property. So until the owner had enough the tenant stays. Plus most lease agreements do not have in them that the Renter has to follow the HOA's rules. Which means the owner's hands are tied. They can't evict if no terms of the lease. Some states a tenant can stay and not pay rent for upwards to a year without being evicted. It is called "Tenant's Rights". The landlord has to recognize that and obey that law.



This is not true in most states, and definitely not true for Florida condominiums.

In Florida, the law says that provisions of the governing docs are "expressly incorporated into any lease of a unit" and "The association may levy reasonable fines for the failure of the owner of the unit or its occupant, licensee, or invitee …".

In other states the covenants override a lease, as long as the covenants so state. The association is not a disinterested third party and can enforce governing docs on a tenant, as long as the docs have a statement that they are applicable to tenants.

Associations have been asking for these powers for a long time, and many states now have this type of provision in law, and governing docs can implement most of it without a law.
DanielleG4
(Florida)

Posts:31


06/05/2021 10:28 AM  
Posted By JeffT2 on 06/05/2021 9:43 AM
Posted By MelissaP1 on 06/05/2021 7:41 AM
The HOA is a 3rd party to the lease. They have no authority over the tenant just the owner. It's the owner's property. So until the owner had enough the tenant stays. Plus most lease agreements do not have in them that the Renter has to follow the HOA's rules. Which means the owner's hands are tied. They can't evict if no terms of the lease. Some states a tenant can stay and not pay rent for upwards to a year without being evicted. It is called "Tenant's Rights". The landlord has to recognize that and obey that law.



This is not true in most states, and definitely not true for Florida condominiums.

In Florida, the law says that provisions of the governing docs are "expressly incorporated into any lease of a unit" and "The association may levy reasonable fines for the failure of the owner of the unit or its occupant, licensee, or invitee …".

In other states the covenants override a lease, as long as the covenants so state. The association is not a disinterested third party and can enforce governing docs on a tenant, as long as the docs have a statement that they are applicable to tenants.

Associations have been asking for these powers for a long time, and many states now have this type of provision in law, and governing docs can implement most of it without a law.




Should I try to post the declaration
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1244


06/05/2021 12:15 PM  
Yeah, it was about 8 years ago AugustinD. It's sad it had to come down to it, it was like I still have a target painted on my back.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:886


06/06/2021 4:45 AM  
Posted By JeffT2 on 06/05/2021 9:43 AM
Posted By MelissaP1 on 06/05/2021 7:41 AM
The HOA is a 3rd party to the lease. They have no authority over the tenant just the owner. It's the owner's property. So until the owner had enough the tenant stays. Plus most lease agreements do not have in them that the Renter has to follow the HOA's rules. Which means the owner's hands are tied. They can't evict if no terms of the lease. Some states a tenant can stay and not pay rent for upwards to a year without being evicted. It is called "Tenant's Rights". The landlord has to recognize that and obey that law.



This is not true in most states, and definitely not true for Florida condominiums.

In Florida, the law says that provisions of the governing docs are "expressly incorporated into any lease of a unit" and "The association may levy reasonable fines for the failure of the owner of the unit or its occupant, licensee, or invitee …".

In other states the covenants override a lease, as long as the covenants so state. The association is not a disinterested third party and can enforce governing docs on a tenant, as long as the docs have a statement that they are applicable to tenants.

Associations have been asking for these powers for a long time, and many states now have this type of provision in law, and governing docs can implement most of it without a law.



I interpret this differently. The association can fine for violations by the occupants but it is still the owner who is fined. The tenant has no incentive to pay a fine unless the owner threatens to evict them.
DanielleG4
(Florida)

Posts:31


06/06/2021 5:46 AM  
You still believe that if fines continue, the landlord can evict the tenant or at least not renew lease?
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2021


06/06/2021 6:05 AM  
Not a lawyer, but I agree with Ben.

The association (in most cases) has no legal relationship with the tenant, only with the owner of the unit. In fact, our Declaration states that owners are responsible for the actions of any of their guests, tenants or other persons they invite onto the property.

Trying to fine a tenant directly would be like trying to fine a service person who violated the CC&Rs while performing work for a unit owner. The service person has no relationship with the association and no incentive to pay - what will the association do when the person says "yeah right" and walks away?

The only person who has any leverage with a tenant is usually their landlord, and this "leverage" is contingent on a properly worded lease that requires the tenant to obey community rules, regulations and CC&Rs, and permits the landlord to evict based on failure to obey.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1244


06/06/2021 7:03 AM  
Posted By DanielleG4 on 06/06/2021 5:46 AM
You still believe that if fines continue, the landlord can evict the tenant or at least not renew lease?




Yes, any good landlord would cut their losses and not renew their lease, evictions are costly, and could set the owner up for months of lost rent revenue when the renter stops paying.

I'll throw you a curve ball, what if the renters are a blood relative to the owner?
AugustinD


Posts:601


06/06/2021 8:16 AM  
Posted By BenA2 on 06/06/2021 4:45 AM

I interpret this differently. The association can fine for violations by the occupants but it is still the owner who is fined. The tenant has no incentive to pay a fine unless the owner threatens to evict them.
Numerous Florida law firm and Florida attorney sites indicate that JeffT2 is correct, and a condo association may fine a tenant for the tenant's violations of the covenants, bylaws, and rules and regs. Examples:

===
"As of 2015, Florida law allows both homeowners and condominium associations to impose fines against members, tenants, guests and invitees who violate a community’s declaration of covenants, articles of incorporation, bylaws or any rules adopted by the association." -- https://www.theledger.com/news/20180601/enforcing-community-association-rules-by-imposing-fines
===

===
"First, the Florida Condominium Act makes clear that each tenant must comply with an association’s governing documents and that tenants can be liable for violations regardless of whether such liability is expressed in the underlying lease between the unit owner and the tenant. See Fla. Stat. § 718.303(1) & (3). Second, Section 718.303, Florida Statutes, provides associations with four main remedies against tenants: 1) legal action for damages; 2) legal action for injunctive relief; 3) issuing fines; and 4) suspending use rights.
...
When a tenant violates association rules, the association may levy a reasonable fine against the unit owner and the tenant."
--https://www.jimersonfirm.com/blog/2014/09/condo-associations-remedies-tenants-violate-associations-declaration-rules-regulations/#:~:text=When%20a%20tenant%20violates%20association,Stat.
===

===
"Q: Can fines and suspensions of amenities be effective against a problematic owner or tenant?
A: Fines, if done properly, can be useful tools to compel compliance with your community rules. Nobody wants to pay a fine, particularly daily fines of $100 up to the statutory maximum of $1,000. In the majority of cases, the owner and/or tenant who is fined will respond by disputing the fine and may even request a hearing before the association’s fining committee." -- Florida law firm, https://gadclaw.com/condo-hoa-faqs/
===

===
"A fine or suspension levied by the Board of Directors may not be imposed unless the Board of Directors first provides at least 14 days’ written notice to the Unit Owner and, if applicable, any occupant, licensee, or invitee of the unit owner sought to be fined or suspended, and an opportunity for a hearing before a committee of at least three members appointed by the Board of Directors... The association must provide written notice of such fine or suspension by mail or hand delivery to the unit owner and, if applicable, to any tenant, licensee, or invitee of the unit owner."
--https://blog.shipplawoffice.com/florida-condominiums-fines-and-suspensions/
===
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2021


06/06/2021 8:48 AM  
Posted By LetA on 06/06/2021 7:03 AM
Posted By DanielleG4 on 06/06/2021 5:46 AM
You still believe that if fines continue, the landlord can evict the tenant or at least not renew lease?




Yes, any good landlord would cut their losses and not renew their lease, evictions are costly, and could set the owner up for months of lost rent revenue when the renter stops paying.

I'll throw you a curve ball, what if the renters are a blood relative to the owner?



This is going to be purely a financial decision for the landlord (unless as LetA said there is something unusual going on, such as a friend or relative renting the unit, and this happens more often than you'd think).

The landlord wants to make as much money as possible with the least amount of effort and expense possible. Anything that lowers his potential income or causes him to expend more effort is bad from his point of view.

He is not going to care about the quality of life that his tenant's neighbors have unless it starts to cost him money. In this case, the cost will have to exceed whatever he would have to spend to get rid of the tenant and find a new one, including lost revenue from an empty unit. If he takes shortcuts and tries to evict the tenant without complying with the terms of the lease and state landlord-tenant laws, he also may be facing legal action, and that really can get expensive. Not to mention that the police may have to get involved if the tenant refuses to go. Or the cost of refurbishing the unit if the departing tenant trashes it.

A landlord really really really does not want to get rid of a paying tenant unless the cost of keeping that tenant exceeds the cost of getting rid of them.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2021


06/06/2021 8:57 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/06/2021 8:16 AM
Posted By BenA2 on 06/06/2021 4:45 AM

I interpret this differently. The association can fine for violations by the occupants but it is still the owner who is fined. The tenant has no incentive to pay a fine unless the owner threatens to evict them.


Numerous Florida law firm and Florida attorney sites indicate that JeffT2 is correct, and a condo association may fine a tenant for the tenant's violations of the covenants, bylaws, and rules and regs. Examples:

===
"As of 2015, Florida law allows both homeowners and condominium associations to impose fines against members, tenants, guests and invitees who violate a community’s declaration of covenants, articles of incorporation, bylaws or any rules adopted by the association." -- https://www.theledger.com/news/20180601/enforcing-community-association-rules-by-imposing-fines
===
... snip ....



Not disagreeing, but I'm trying to understand how the association can collect a fine from a tenant who won't pay. There would have to be some sort of legal relationship with the HOA in there somewhere, and how would that interact with Fair Debt Collection requirements? Does the lease create the legal relationship? I know that our attorneys told us it did not, but that may be unique to my state/my COA.
AugustinD


Posts:601


06/06/2021 9:30 AM  
Re JeffT2's arguments about HOAs/COAs fining tenants:
Posted By CathyA3 on 06/06/2021 8:57 AM
I'm trying to understand how the association can collect a fine from a tenant who won't pay. There would have to be some sort of legal relationship with the HOA in there somewhere, and how would that interact with Fair Debt Collection requirements? Does the lease create the legal relationship? I know that our attorneys told us it did not, but that may be unique to my state/my COA.
In my opinion, and in Florida for one, it appears that the Florida condo statute creates a legal relationship between COA and tenant. From FS 718.303 (1) :

"Each unit owner, each tenant and other invitee, and each association is governed by, and must comply with the provisions of, this chapter, the declaration, the documents creating the association, and the association bylaws which shall be deemed expressly incorporated into any lease of a unit. Actions for damages or for injunctive relief, or both, for failure to comply with these provisions may be brought by the association or by a unit owner against:
(a) The association.
(b) A unit owner.
(c) Directors designated by the developer, for actions taken by them before control of the association is assumed by unit owners other than the developer.
(d) Any director who willfully and knowingly fails to comply with these provisions.
(e) Any tenant leasing a unit, and any other invitee occupying a unit."

(I think JeffT2 quoted 718.303 at more length in another recent thread.)


-- Consider further this part of FS 718, under the very long section 718.116:
"If the unit is occupied by a tenant and the unit owner is delinquent in paying any monetary obligation due to the association, the association may make a written demand that the tenant pay to the association the subsequent rental payments and continue to make such payments until all monetary obligations of the unit owner related to the unit have been paid in full to the association. The tenant must pay the monetary obligations to the association until the association releases the tenant or the tenant discontinues tenancy in the unit."

I know the above (From 718.116) has come up here before. To me, it's one powerful statute section, and in favor of COAs when it comes to the relationship between Florida COAs and Florida COA landlord-owners.

-- I should add that I am not sure if JeffT2 is correct that "most states" allow a HOA/COA to fine a tenant. The reason I have doubts that a majority of states allow such fining is for the reasons CathyA3 and others gave. I see he has staked out a legal position and elaborated on his reasoning. He concluded his one post to this thread with, "Associations have been asking for these powers for a long time, and many states now have this type of provision in law, and governing docs can implement most of it without a law." Maybe he meant "many states." (I am being persnickety.) Maybe there is a matrix on the net somewhere breaking down which states allow COAs/HOAs to impose fines directly on tenants.
DanielleG4
(Florida)

Posts:31


06/06/2021 10:48 AM  
lol I’m very certain that isn’t the case
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2021


06/06/2021 12:09 PM  
Posted By DanielleG4 on 06/06/2021 10:48 AM
lol I’m very certain that isn’t the case




One thing you learn if you hang around this site for a while: people can post contradictory info and still both be right. There is too much variability between state laws governing community associations and between the governing docs of individual communities.

You are the only one who knows what your governing documents say. As long as they don't contradict state law, that's what you have to work with (in addition to the realities of owning rental property, which don't bend no matter how much we may want them to).
DanielleG4
(Florida)

Posts:31


06/06/2021 3:23 PM  
My last comment was about someone on the board asking if the tenant and the owner are related somehow and I said very unlikely
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2021


06/07/2021 5:30 AM  
Posted By DanielleG4 on 06/06/2021 3:23 PM
My last comment was about someone on the board asking if the tenant and the owner are related somehow and I said very unlikely



OK.

At any rate, good luck. I feel for you: I sold a condo to get away from noisy neighbors (owners in this case). The bottom line was that they could make me more miserable than I could make them, and life is too short to live that way.

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