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New law can make renters pay homeowner-association fees

Posted by on Jun. 27, 2010 at 7:00 PM
  • 8 Replies

 Donna Collins, who pays rent on the Kissimmee home she shares with her elderly mom, faces a new threat of eviction starting next week when Florida law allows homeowner associations to pursue renters, not just landlords, for overdue fees.

If the owner falls behind and the renter doesn't cover the deficit, the renter faces eviction under the new statute, which takes effect July 1.

"What it boils down to is that we've got the homeowner association on one side saying, 'If you don't pay us for the fees, we're going to evict you,' " said Collins, whose landlord owes thousands in back fees. "And on the other side you've got a landlord saying, 'If you don't pay me the rent, then I'm going to evict you.' What's a tenant to do?"

The issue of delinquent homeowner fees has become pervasive in Metro Orlando, which led the nation in rental and homeowner vacancies during the first quarter, according to U.S. census figures. The census reported that 8.9 percent of all homes and condos were unoccupied and 20.6 percent of all rentals were empty — the highest vacancy rates among the nation's 75 largest metro areas.


In the past, tenants paid only rent to their landlords, who were supposed to pay any community fees associated with the house or condo unit. If a landlord failed to pay the fees, a homeowner or condo association could file a lien or ask a judge for title to the property. But both options took time and came with legal fees that were tough for cash-starved associations to pay.

The new law allows associations to collect fees directly from renters if the owner-landlords don't pay up.

"I feel bad for the tenants. They're being put in the middle of the situation," said Frayda Morris, owner Central Association Management of Kissimmee, which has sent notices to Collins and other renters. "But the big picture is that they are in the home paying rent, and the investor, he's collecting rent but he's not paying assessments, not paying the mortgage."

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-renters-overdue-hoa-fees-20100624,0,7301017.story

by on Jun. 27, 2010 at 7:00 PM
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Replies (1-8):
tericared
by on Jun. 27, 2010 at 7:01 PM

Was looking at some of the new laws that go into effect in Florida on July 1st...this one just seems so very wrong...

EireLass
by Ruby Member on Jun. 27, 2010 at 7:03 PM

I own a couple condos and rent them. This law doesn't make sense when you think of what an association fee covers. It has little to do 'directly' with the tenant. A couple years ago, law went into effect here where the tenant could pay the water bill on the property. That seems fair, seeing as they're the one using or abusing it.  

tericared
by on Jun. 27, 2010 at 7:06 PM

 EireLass... I dont get this...The homeowner should pay this fee not the renter...If the renter isnt paying rent then yes kick em out but I dont see how they can be held responsible for a fee the owner should be paying...

LokisMama
by Bronze Member on Jun. 27, 2010 at 7:31 PM

This sucks.  I rent in Florida, and this is gonna suck ass.

Come to think of it, it wouldn't have gotten us evicted from our last place.  It went into forclosure while we were living there.

fireangel5
by Gold Member on Jun. 27, 2010 at 8:46 PM

It is called a homeOWNERS assoc. correct? These fees should be figured into the rent and then paid by the owner. There should be some type of protection for the renter. There should be some addition that if a renter must pay the HO fees he can deduct that amount  from the rent due. Otherwise youare overcharging tenants and leaving them no recourse to get their money back.

tscritch
by Silver Member on Jun. 27, 2010 at 8:50 PM

Can a homeowners assoc kick you out? Do they have that ability/authority?

sojourner.
by on Jun. 27, 2010 at 8:55 PM

 That doesn't make any sense. It's a homeOWNERS association, not a homeRENTERS association. If that ever happened to me, I'd take it to court...that's absolutely ridiculous. Granted, I hate HOAs anyway, and think they should be abolished.

tericared
by on Jun. 27, 2010 at 10:25 PM

 

Quoting tscritch:

Can a homeowners assoc kick you out? Do they have that ability/authority?

 It would seem if the fees are not paid then yes they can kick out the renter..

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