The unfortunate fallout from the mortgage crisis of 2008/2009 was that suddenly we became a nation of renters. Which means we now have two classes of home occupancy, we have owners and renters. So how does that work exactly in a homeowners association and who is obligated for what?
Bear in mind, this is only informational, this does not supercede any contracts negotiated between the landlord and tenant. Having said that, the landlord’s obligation to the homeowners association or community is to pay the annual association fee and to ensure the property is in good condition such as lawn kept up and home maintained. How you have negotiate the latter with your tenant is entirely up to you.
Beyond your rental agreement, you have access to all community amenities as a renter. However, you also have the obligation to abide by all of the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for the community. Examples would be no boats, trailers or RVs in driveways, no parking on the street, no vehicles in disrepair, no disruptive activities (parties) until the wee hours of the morning. The tenant cannot serve on the Board of Directors for the association as Board members must be property owners.
The property owner is ultimately responsible for all the activities of the renters and the condition of the property and the owner will be notified of any violations with a copy of the notice being sent to the tenant. However, if the tenant fails to abide by Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions and begins to incur fines, then liens because of noncompliance, it is the property owner that will be held responsible. How this impacts your individual rental agreement is between the landlord and tenant.
Unfortunately, just because you are an upstanding tenant and comply with all rules and regulations does not mean everything goes according to plan. There have been numerous instances of banks or homeowners associations foreclosing on homes either from a mortgage default or nonpayment of association fees. As a result, the tenant is sometimes left out in the cold with little to no explanation and no recourse.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
There are some communities, mostly in South Florida, that have age restrictions, retirement communities. If you are considering renting out your home, check your association documents for clarification or seek out the advice of an attorney familiar with community association law.
Some communities have restrictions in place for commercial vehicles, signs on vehicles, etc. It is important to read and fully understand the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions prior to executing a rental agreement.
Check the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for limits on rental activity such as duration. Some neighborhoods frown upon short term rental activity.
For both the landlord and tenant, its important to understand the requirements of living in a deed restricted community. If there are any questions pertaining to rental activity, engage the services of a real estate attorney to help in the navigation process and to provide interpretation of the governing documents.
If you’re looking for a change in management companies, contact the professionals in community association management, Property Management Systems, Inc. PMSI has provided communities in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia with association management for over twenty five years. Contact them today for a free community evaluation.