Get 1 year of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Monday, April 06, 2020











HOATalk is a free service of Community123.com:

Get 1 free year community website and email newsletter hosting from Community123.com!
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: Tenant and owner want HOA to put tenant up in a hotel
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
MichelleG7
(Connecticut)

Posts:9


02/16/2020 4:26 AM  
Our power went out.. Emergency electrician came out took apart panel diagnosed units affected got power back. later that night one unit lost power. As I was working on getting electrician back I get call from Tenant lost power asking what happens if I dont have power tonight. I explain thats between you and your owner. Owner calls me up says why are you saying its my bla bla bla. As this is going on Im running around house to put warm clothes on so I can go out with electrican and figure out the problem. I say to owner please contact manager.. I could not say anything to calm him down. Tenant said a mouthful to him that I did not say. Focus of this topic.. IF we dont put owners in a hotel during a power outage Why would a owner think we have to put his tenant up in a place during a power outage. We all own that electric panel outside that had an issue. Have you ever run into this situation. The outcome. Luckily it was a breaker that popped. Dont know what the future holds for the power issue but for now they all have it.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:836


02/16/2020 5:07 AM  
I'm assuming these are condos.

You should read your Declaration (CC&Rs) carefully because there should be sections that describe who owns what and who is responsible for what.

Then you should check any insurance that your community is carrying and see if it covers the common elements only or if it's "all included" which means that portions of the interiors will be covered if there is an insurable event.

Third, you need to understand the different between an insurable event and routine maintenance. If the property is damaged by a storm, that likely an insurable event. If a component of the electrical system dies for no obvious reason, it's probably considered routine maintenance. Your association's insurance agent can help you sort out the difference. If your community is like other condo communities, the owners are responsible for routine maintenance *even if the damage originates in the common elements* (an example of this would be mold that develops after a roof leak).

From your description, this event sounded like routine maintenance, so the association's insurance probably won't come into play and the individual owners are responsible for repairs to their homes. But do verify this. Individual owners should carry their own insurance, such as an HO6 policy, that *may* provide living expenses if their units can't be lived in. That's the owners' responsibility. If anyone is going to pay for a hotel stay, it will be the owner/landlord and not the association.

People get confused when condos are rented. The association does not have a legal relationship with the tenant - the relationship is with the owner, and all communication should be with the owner or the owner's local agent. It sounds like you did everything right. Continue to refer the tenant to the owner if there is an issue. (In some states, associations are prohibited from communicating with tenants for any reason, and could be hauled into court for interference in a contract if they ignore this prohibition.)

Again, please verify all this. Condos are basically the same everywhere, but there are state-to-state differences and individual Declarations can have their own unique features. The details matter.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9136


02/16/2020 5:15 AM  
Cathy is right. You did the right thing. The HOA has no legal relationship nor responsibility to the tenant. (Unless it IS the HOA's tenant). The HOA has a relationship with the owner. However, that doesn't extend to this situation. That is usually for rule violations etc. Conditions of home is the owner's responsibility. That include providing proper living conditions.

I've been a landlord before in my HOA. I know it is my responsibility to keep up with my tenant and home NOT the HOA's. Also know that I also need to include in my rental agreement that the Tenant must also follow the HOA's rules or I can evict. This isn't in most lease agreements but I HIGHLY recommend the HOA push this idea to all their owners for everyone's protection.

Hold your ground and don't let them "I will sue" make you do any knee jerk exercises. Respond with "I will wait for the lawsuit paperwork. Have a good day" and move on.

Former HOA President
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2336


02/16/2020 6:00 AM  
Agree with Cathy.

This sounds like a simple, but inconvenient failure of an electrical component.

Association relates to owner, owner relates to tenant.

Be nice, but firm - simply tell the owner what happened, what the electrician told you, and that they need to deal with THEIR tenant.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:836


02/16/2020 7:13 AM  
A minor quibble about insurance, although it doesn't change my answer...

A condo owner who has a tenant shouldn't have an HO6 policy anymore but one that covers rental property. (The owner is also no longer eligible for the mortgage that he got when he bought the condo. Many would-be landlords don't know this or don't care about it until something happens that bites them in the rear.)

Anyway, the landlord's insurance may or may not provide loss-of-use coverage. However, the tenant's renter's policy may also provide such coverage (and the savvy landlord requires his tenants to have insurance nowadays).

The bottom line is still that the landlord and/or tenant are responsible for any hotel costs. Not the association's issue at all.

(.... although, come to think of it, if I were on the board of a condo association that requires proof of insurance and/or mortgage info from all owners, I'd be asking our attorney if we need to care about owners who may have made no changes after they rented out their units. I truly don't know, and I think it's an interesting question. Unrelated to the hotel business, though ....)
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3061


02/16/2020 8:44 AM  
I'm with melissa, Cathy and george. This is also why investor-owners get on my nerves - too many of them act as if the association property manager is a super cheap manager to deal with their tenants so they can sit back and cash rent checks.

Maybe this tenant should invest in a renters insurance policy - I rented for 14 years before buying my unit and it had coverage for incidents where I couldnt live in my apartment because of incidents like fires.
JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:532


02/16/2020 4:05 PM  
The idea that the board (or manager) cannot or should not contact a tenant has been a bit overstated here.

You can deal directly with tenants on many issues.

If the association needs to do work, then of course you talk to the tenant.

The association absolutely has a legal relationship with a tenant, meaning the association has obligations to the tenant, and the tenant with the association. The association is not a disinterested third party.

The governing docs of many COA/HOA have a statement that the docs are enforceable against owners, tenants, guests and invitees. If the docs have that statement, then the association can enforce their docs on tenants.

In CT state law, an association has a right to bypass the owner to fine tenants and legally enforce their governing documents directly on the tenant.

That said, for a violation, it is often easier to fine an owner than a tenant, or to attempt enforcement in court.

Bottom line: talk to the tenant or not. Your choice.

IMO, the association has no liability for a hotel.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9136


02/16/2020 4:19 PM  
JeffT this wasn't a violation situation. Plus the HOA has no relationship with a tenant. They are a 3rd party. The owner's responsibility is with their tenant to make arrangements. It is NOT with the HOA. I'd go tell the owner to go pound sand.

Former HOA President
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2336


02/16/2020 4:33 PM  
Hmmmm ... probably some fine lines in the language, and likely by state and even municipality.

Generally HOAs have a relationship only with the owners ... the owners have a relationship with their tenants.
JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:532


02/16/2020 5:05 PM  
I realize this is not a violation situation. I was using a violation to show that there is a clear legal relationship between the COA and a tenant, meaning that the tenant can be fined according to the law in CT. The tenant has a legal obligation to follow the CCRs and rules, and the association has a right to levy a fine. The association does not have to go through the owner. This is one example of what I call a (legal) relationship, and where the association is not a third party.

Of course, it depends what you mean by relationship. If you define relationship as being a member of the association, then I tend to agree, well at least that there is more relationship for an owner.

However, the tenant is bound by the CCRs so that is a legal relationship.

The COA also has a responsibility to provide services, such as electricity through the common elements. That is also a legal obligation or relationship.

Yes, an owner has more of a relationship (obligations and rights) than a tenant, but a tenant does not have zero relationship. That is a myth. On the other hand, some HOAs with separate houses have very little relationship with a tenant, but a condominium tends to have more relationship with a tenant.

I would also tell the owner (and tenant) to pound sand, but for a different reason: because the COA has no liability for a hotel room. It is incorrect to say the owner should pound sand because the COA has no relationship with the tenant. The COA has many obligations to the tenant (electricity, maintenance of the common elements, and so on), but providing a hotel is not one of them when the COA did not do anything wrong.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2336


02/16/2020 5:54 PM  
Jeff,

I’m learning about COAs in the fly, here.

I still can’t see the legal relationship between most COAs and tenants ... I’m trying ...work with me :-)

HOA circumstances are pretty easy, obviously, in comparison.
AugustinD


Posts:2946


02/16/2020 6:50 PM  
Posted By MichelleG7 on 02/16/2020 4:26 AMI can imagine instances of negligence where a COA/HOA would be obliged to arrange for a hotel for a resident of a unit or house. For anything else, I believe the typical Declaration says, in so many words, that the COA/HOA is exempt from such action.

Posted By CathyA3 on 02/16/2020 5:07 AM
The association does not have a legal relationship with the tenant - the relationship is with the owner, and all communication should be with the owner or the owner's local agent.
In the context of what the OP described, about a tenant wanting a hotel room, I agree with CathyA3. Also I know full well that CathyA3 is aware that "legal relationships" can arise spontaneously anytime one party has a duty to another party. For example, suppose someone slips and falls on a broken set of stairs in the common area. It does not matter whether this is an owner, a tenant or a guest. The condominium has a duty to all who might be using the stairs to maintain it so that people do not trip.

Aside: Instead of the phrase "have a legal relationship with," isn't the correct phrase, "owe a duty to"?

Posted By JeffT2 on 02/16/2020 4:05 PM
The association absolutely has a legal relationship with a tenant, meaning the association has obligations to the tenant, and the tenant with the association. The association is not a disinterested third party.
I think this is way too much of a blanket statement. For example, a 2009 California appeals court ruled emphatically that a tenant does not have standing to prevail in a lawsuit with a HOA when the HOA violates CC&Rs and the tenant's claim is based on this violation. See https://findhoalaw.com/martin-v-bridgeport-community-association/ .

From my reading, sometimes a HOA or COA will owe a legal duty to a tenant. Sometimes not.
AugustinD


Posts:2946


02/16/2020 6:52 PM  
Re-posting for read-ability:

Posted By MichelleG7 on 02/16/2020 4:26 AM
If we dont put owners in a hotel during a power outage Why would a owner think we have to put his tenant up in a place during a power outage.
I can imagine instances of negligence where a COA/HOA would be obliged to arrange for a hotel for a resident of a unit or house. For anything else, I believe the typical Declaration says, in so many words, that the COA/HOA is exempt from such action.

Posted By CathyA3 on 02/16/2020 5:07 AM
The association does not have a legal relationship with the tenant - the relationship is with the owner, and all communication should be with the owner or the owner's local agent.
In the context of what the OP described, about a tenant wanting a hotel room, I agree with CathyA3. Also I know full well that CathyA3 is aware that "legal relationships" can arise spontaneously anytime one party has a duty to another party. For example, suppose someone slips and falls on a broken set of stairs in the common area. It does not matter whether this is an owner, a tenant or a guest. The condominium has a duty to all who might be using the stairs to maintain it so that people do not trip.

Aside: Instead of the phrase "have a legal relationship with," isn't the correct phrase, "owe a duty to"?

Posted By JeffT2 on 02/16/2020 4:05 PM
The association absolutely has a legal relationship with a tenant, meaning the association has obligations to the tenant, and the tenant with the association. The association is not a disinterested third party.
I think this is way too much of a blanket statement. For example, a 2009 California appeals court ruled emphatically that a tenant does not have standing to prevail in a lawsuit with a HOA when the HOA violates CC&Rs and the tenant's claim is based on this violation. See https://findhoalaw.com/martin-v-bridgeport-community-association/ .

From my reading, sometimes a HOA or COA will owe a legal duty to a tenant. Sometimes not.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:836


02/17/2020 5:39 AM  
JeffT2 says that in CT, an association does have a legal relationship with the tenant. In Ohio, that is absolutely not the case (per our attorney). All communication must go through the owner/landlord, and in the case of a violation it is the owner who is fined, not the tenant. However in some states, some association can and do vet potential tenants. This is one of those areas where state laws can differ.

I agree with Augustin that tenants do have rights, but I think you have to be careful about deciding whether the right arises from the person's status as a tenant or something else. For example, the example of having safe and clean common areas so that you don't slip and fall would apply to all owners as well as guests and employees of the association (to avoid liability) - it isn't a duty that's owed only to tenants.

I think in some states tenants may have special rights, such as sitting on the board, but as far as I know that's pretty uncommon. Most rights conferred by ownership are limited strictly to owners.

I think we're all agreeing, though, that putting up a tenant in a hotel is not something that an association would do, especially in the case described by the OP. That's what loss-of-use insurance coverage is for.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9136


02/17/2020 5:55 AM  
This is just one of those situations I don't want the OP to waste time, effort, or concern about getting legal advice. It's a waste of money and not necessary. They are NOT an apartment complex. They are condos. Each owner is responsible for their own tenant. There is no HOA "bubble".

Former HOA President
SamE2
(New Jersey)

Posts:247


02/17/2020 7:20 AM  
The electric company never put me in a hotel when I lost power in my house so I can't see why my HOA would put me in a hotel when they lost power unless the HOA was negligent or ignored the issue. We have had issues and never put anyone in a hotel or compensated them when the food in their refrigerator went bad. I would not worry about and just move on.
AugustinD


Posts:2946


02/17/2020 7:48 AM  
The only Connecticut statute section I can find that could be said to create a "legal relationship" (duty, whatever) between a tenant is pretty boilerplate:

Connecticut Condo Act, Section 47-86(a) --
"All unit owners, tenants of such owners, employees of owners and tenants, or any other persons who may in any manner use property or any part thereof submitted to the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to this chapter and to the declaration and bylaws of the association of unit owners."

Ohio's Condo Act at Section 5311.19 says similar: --
(A) All unit owners, their tenants, all persons lawfully in possession and control of any part of a condominium property, and the unit owners association of a condominium property shall comply with all covenants, conditions, and restrictions set forth in a deed to which they are subject or in the declaration, the bylaws, or the rules of the unit owners association, as lawfully amended. Violations of those covenants, conditions, or restrictions shall be grounds for the unit owners association or any unit owner to commence a civil action for damages, injunctive relief, or both, and an award of court costs and reasonable attorney's fees in both types of action.

But I can see general legal wisdom saying that the HOA/COA should enforce rules against a tenant via the landlord-owner. Doing otherwise piles chores onto a HOA/COA that can end up using a disproportionate share of resources vis-a-vis those who own their units and do not rent them.
JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:532


02/17/2020 8:41 AM  
In CT, the Common Interest Ownership Act applies to condos and HOAs (Common Interest communities) created after January 1, 1984 (with some applicability exceptions). Here is an excerpt:

Sec. 47-244...
(d) If a tenant of a unit owner violates the declaration, bylaws or rules and regulations of the association, in addition to exercising any of its powers against the unit owner, the association may:

(1) Exercise directly against the tenant the powers described in subdivision (11) of subsection (a) of this section;

(2) After giving notice to the tenant and the unit owner and an opportunity to be heard, levy reasonable fines against the tenant or unit owner, or both, for the violation; and

(3) Enforce any other rights against the tenant for the violation which the unit owner as landlord could lawfully have exercised under the lease, including any such right to bring a summary process action under chapter 832......

This is from a California law firm that I think applies to most HOA/COA in most states:

CC&Rs will sometimes have a broad statement that the document is binding upon "each member, tenant, resident, and occupant" and each has a duty to follow the association’s governing documents. If so, penalties may be levied against tenants as well as owners for rules violations.
AugustinD


Posts:2946


02/17/2020 8:48 AM  
Posted By JeffT2 on 02/17/2020 8:41 AM
In CT, the Common Interest Ownership Act applies to condos and HOAs (Common Interest communities) created after January 1, 1984 (with some applicability exceptions). Here is an excerpt:

Sec. 47-244...
(d) If a tenant of a unit owner violates the declaration, bylaws or rules and regulations of the association, in addition to exercising any of its powers against the unit owner, the association may:
Key word being "may." It's permissive, not mandatory. For all parties concerned, Cathy's HOA attorney's counsel sounds like the prudent path to me. I do not want my HOA/COA manager and board to have to deal with the occasionally ignorant tenant. Keep things simple and legally more powerful IMO: Go to the owner.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:836


02/17/2020 11:29 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 02/17/2020 8:48 AM
Posted By JeffT2 on 02/17/2020 8:41 AM
In CT, the Common Interest Ownership Act applies to condos and HOAs (Common Interest communities) created after January 1, 1984 (with some applicability exceptions). Here is an excerpt:

Sec. 47-244...
(d) If a tenant of a unit owner violates the declaration, bylaws or rules and regulations of the association, in addition to exercising any of its powers against the unit owner, the association may:
Key word being "may." It's permissive, not mandatory. For all parties concerned, Cathy's HOA attorney's counsel sounds like the prudent path to me. I do not want my HOA/COA manager and board to have to deal with the occasionally ignorant tenant. Keep things simple and legally more powerful IMO: Go to the owner.




I agree with Augustin.

One reason that I think it's more powerful is that the owner has signed a purchase contract of which the CC&Rs form a part (which is why the CC&RS are enforceable). The tenant has not. The tenant's rental agreement may have language stating that he/she must abide by the governing docs of the community (although some landlords may forget to include this even though it may be required in the CC&Rs, and others may not be required to do so). However, I don't know that the text of the CC&Rs form part of the lease agreement. I'm sure some lawyer somewhere would argue that "abide by the rules of the community" may be too vague unless they are spelled out verbatim, and some judge somewhere would agree.

In my community it's a moot point, we don't have the option of fining the tenant.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:836


02/17/2020 2:36 PM  
One more tidbit that I just remembered:

When our attorney cautioned the board against communicating with tenants about association business, he said the association is not a party to the lease agreement signed by the tenant and the owner/landlord (ie. "no legal relationship"). But by communicating directly with the tenant instead of through the landlord, we can accidentally create an obligation that would not exist otherwise. Unfortunately I didn't ask for an example of what he was talking about.
JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:532


02/19/2020 9:27 AM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 02/17/2020 11:29 AM
Posted By AugustinD on 02/17/2020 8:48 AM
Posted By JeffT2 on 02/17/2020 8:41 AM
In CT, the Common Interest Ownership Act applies to condos and HOAs (Common Interest communities) created after January 1, 1984 (with some applicability exceptions). Here is an excerpt:

Sec. 47-244...
(d) If a tenant of a unit owner violates the declaration, bylaws or rules and regulations of the association, in addition to exercising any of its powers against the unit owner, the association may:
Key word being "may." It's permissive, not mandatory. For all parties concerned, Cathy's HOA attorney's counsel sounds like the prudent path to me. I do not want my HOA/COA manager and board to have to deal with the occasionally ignorant tenant. Keep things simple and legally more powerful IMO: Go to the owner.




I agree with Augustin.

One reason that I think it's more powerful is that the owner has signed a purchase contract of which the CC&Rs form a part (which is why the CC&RS are enforceable). The tenant has not. The tenant's rental agreement may have language stating that he/she must abide by the governing docs of the community (although some landlords may forget to include this even though it may be required in the CC&Rs, and others may not be required to do so). However, I don't know that the text of the CC&Rs form part of the lease agreement. I'm sure some lawyer somewhere would argue that "abide by the rules of the community" may be too vague unless they are spelled out verbatim, and some judge somewhere would agree.

In my community it's a moot point, we don't have the option of fining the tenant.


I understand about not fining renters in your community (and many others). I also understand that it is usually a lot easier to go after the owner.

Just to be clear, the law trumps the lease. According to the Ohio law that Augustin posted: "... tenants... shall comply with all covenants, conditions, and restrictions...the declaration, the bylaws, or the rules" and goes on to say that the owners association can "commence a civil action for damages, injunctive relief, or both...". So based on the law you can go to court to enforce your docs.
JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:532


02/19/2020 9:29 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 02/17/2020 8:48 AM
Posted By JeffT2 on 02/17/2020 8:41 AM
In CT, the Common Interest Ownership Act applies to condos and HOAs (Common Interest communities) created after January 1, 1984 (with some applicability exceptions). Here is an excerpt:

Sec. 47-244...
(d) If a tenant of a unit owner violates the declaration, bylaws or rules and regulations of the association, in addition to exercising any of its powers against the unit owner, the association may:
Key word being "may." It's permissive, not mandatory. For all parties concerned, Cathy's HOA attorney's counsel sounds like the prudent path to me. I do not want my HOA/COA manager and board to have to deal with the occasionally ignorant tenant. Keep things simple and legally more powerful IMO: Go to the owner.



I generally agree with this. Much easier to go after the owner in most cases. I'm just saying we should not assume that the sole option is to go after the owner, or that the presence of a renter vacates the CCRs (for the renter).
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Tenant and owner want HOA to put tenant up in a hotel



Get 1 year of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!

Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.







General Legal Notice:  The content of forum messages are from the posting member and have not been reviewed nor endorsed by HOATalk.com.  Messages posted by HOATalk or other members are for informational purposes only, are not legal or professional advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  HOATalk is not a licensed attorney, CPA, tax advisor, financial advisor or any other licensed professional.  HOATalk accepts ads from sponsors but does not verify sponsor qualifications nor endorse/guarantee any sponsor's product or service.
Legal Notice For Messages Posted by Sponsoring Attorneys: This message has been prepared by the sponsoring attorney for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Readers of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send any sponsoring attorney confidential information unless you speak with the sponsoring attorney or an attorney from the sponsoring attorney’s firm and get authorization to send that information to them. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in the firm of the sponsoring attorney. Sponsoring attorneys that post messages here are licensed to practice law in a specific state or states as indicated in their message signature or sponsor’s profile page. (NOTE: A ‘sponsoring attorney’ is an attorney that is a HOATalk.com official sponsor and is identified as such in the posted message or on our sponsor page.)

Copyright HOA Talk.com, A Service of Community123 LLC ( Homeowners Association Discussions )   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement