Condominiums and Homeowner Associations Can Evict
Associations collect fees from unit owners to help pay for expenses in the common areas of the community. This includes paying for things like security guards, pools maintenance and upkeep, landscaping costs, etc.. When a unit owner renting out their property does not pay the association due, the association may be placed in a financial strain. Many times, the unit owner is still collecting the rent, but not paying any money or all of their share of the association dues.
HOW DOES THE AMOUNT DUE FROM THE UNIT OWNER/LANDLORD ACCRUE?
- Regular (monthly, quarterly, annual) Association Dues
- Special Assessments
- Fines for Violations of Association Documents or Rules
WHAT CAN THE ASSOCIATION DO TO COLLECT THE MONEY FROM THE UNIT OWNER/LANDLORD?
1) Place a lien on the Property (Time-consuming, expensive)
2) Collect the rent that the tenant was going to pay to the Unit Owner/Landlord (Fla. Stat. § 718.116(11) for condominium associations, and Fla. Stat. § 720.3085(8)(a) for homeowners associations).
The Association should make sure the accountings are accurate
Serve by hand delivery or U.S. Mail upon the Unit Owner/Landlord and Tenant a Notice of Rent Due to the Association
The rent is paid to the Association until all amounts due to the Association from the Unit Owner/Landlord have been paid.
Then the Association should send a Release notice to the Tenant that all payments due have been made in full, and further rents should be paid to the Unit Owner/Landlord.
The Association should have on file a copy of the lease between the Unit Owner/Landlord and the Tenant that says how much rent is paid monthly.
If the Tenant does not pay the rent to the Association, then serve a 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Vacate
If the Tenant does not comply, start eviction action.
WHAT IF THE UNIT OWNER/LANDLORD THREATENS TO EVICT THE TENANT IF THE TENANT PAYS THE ASSOCIATION AND NOT THE UNIT OWNER/LANDLORD?
The law provides that a tenant paying the rent to the Association pursuant to the Notice above is a defense to an eviction action by the Unit Owner/Landlord – so the Unit Owner/Landlord would lose. And a Landlord is legally prohibited from evicting a tenant (which could include an eviction based on a Notice of Non-Renewal of Lease) because the tenant is compiling with the Association’s Notice to pay rent to the Association, and not to the Unit Owner/Landlord.
WARNING: This law that allows Associations to evict tenants is fairly new and has not been challenged much in the courts, so some ambiguities exist. For example, must the Association serve the 3 Day Notice in the same way the Lease requires it, or the way the Association Governing Documents say notices are to be served, or in the manner Florida Residential Landlord Act says notices are to be served?