Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceRenting & Real Estate · 10 months ago

I rented a house and was not informed that it is in an HOA. The landlord wants me to pay fines?

Nothing in the lease mentions an HOA, I was never informed of its existence in any way, never recieved a copy of the supposed rules, and all of the letters went to my landlord. Now, he wants me to pay fines for things he recieved warnings on and never told me.

My understanding is that the lease must inform the tenant and make them agree to follow the rules and pay any fines. Since my lease says no such thing, the fines would be the responsibility of the landlord.

They took issue with the lawn (lawn mower didn't start at the beginning of spring, but I got it fixed now and have mowed), and, they took issue with a plastic playhouse in the fenced in yard.

At this point, can I just tell my landlord he'll need to pay the fines himself and if he doesn't like it, he can let me out of the lease and pay me reasonable moving expenses?

Update:

Yes I read the entire lease. It never mentions any fines or an HOA. There is a list of rules and I've broken none of them. It does say I am responsible for mowing the lawn.

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  • 10 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    He's in the wrong. If he gave you the paperwork your signature would be on it. Ask him to provide it to you to show that you were told.

    ----------------------

    The HOA has the right to expect all residents, whether owner or renter, to play by the rules. But with renters, it's up to the landlord to enforce the community's rules, not the HOA. ... Landlords must provide a set of governing documents (CC&Rs) and rules to renters before move in..

    Renter's Guide to Understanding HOAs - Rentec Direct

    https://www.rentecdirect.com/blog/hoa-guide/

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  • 10 months ago

    Sounds like it's the landlord's problem; this is his fault, and his fines to pay

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  • 10 months ago

    If you were never apprised of the rules, then you don't owe anything.

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  • 10 months ago

    The fines were apparently do to stuff you did (playhouse in yard and such) and it would seem you'd be responsible for that however he has to tell you about the problems in advance so you can correct them. I think this is all on him, as you suggest. I'd just tell him that you aren't paying the fines because he failed to notify you of the problems and leave it at that.

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  • 10 months ago

    correct, if the lease does not make you responsible for fines, you can't be forced to pay.

    but continued violations could be grounds for eviction unless the HOA violations are allowed by your lease. for example, if you lease allows a dog, but HOA does not, you cannot be held in violation of your lease.

    no, you do not get out of the lease or moving expenses, as keeping the lawn mowed and the yard neat are acceptable rules that would fall under general lease regs of maintaining the property.

    a playhouse damages the lawn.

    IF your lease contradicted HOA rules, you could potentially get moving costs (ie you have a dog allowed in the lease, but not HOA).....but unless you can point out a lease provision that makes it impossible to live under HOA rules, you don't get anything.

    THE LANDLORD SHOULD HAVE TO PAY YOUR FINE BECAUSE THE LEASE DOES NOT ALLOW FOR YOU TO BE FINED.

    added to that, LL failed to notify you when he got warnings....

    LLs remedy for an un mowed lawn would be a cure or quit notice/eviction, possibly having the lawn done at your expense.

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  • 10 months ago

    One would hope the two of you could act like grownups and work this out amicably. The notion of your landlord letting you out of your lease without penalty and reimbursing your moving costs is absurd.

    Offer to split the difference on the fines and agree to abide by HOA rules going forward. That's a whole lot less hassle for you than putting yourself in an adversarial situation with your landlord where he will look to recoup his costs in one form or another, be it raising your rent at the end of the current term, claiming damage and withholding it from your security deposit while simultaneously forcing you to incur moving costs by not renewing with you, or by watching you like a hawk for any possible sign of a lease violation that he could hold over you.

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  • Anonymous
    10 months ago

    1. pay the fines

    2. don't pay the fines.

    3. Try to negotiate.

    4. sue.

    5. Don't sue

    6. I don't care.

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  • Anonymous
    10 months ago

    Where I live, the property owner is liable to the HOA. The lease can make you then responsible to him, but without such a clause, the landlord can't pass on the fines to you period. That could be a big problem for him and he may agree to let you out of the lease to avoid more fines. In which case, you could negotiate. But, be sure you get it in writing so that he can't cone after you after you move out.

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  • 10 months ago

    Why would the landlord need to let you out of the lease?

    Why would the landlord ever have to pay you reasonable or unreasonable moving cost unless you live in a rent controlled area that dictates this? You don't own the place you are renting. You will eventually have to pay to move out - regardless of whether it is now or later.

    if you are responsible for yard maintenance, you are responsible for yard maintenance. If you didn't do it, why should the landlord have to pay your fine?

    -- Because you thought it really didn't make a difference whether you did the yard maintenance or not is a lame excuse on your side

    Have you moved the playhouse? When you say fenced yard does that mean the backyard where it wasn't visible from the street?

    - If most people would consider it appropriate where you had it placed, then you shouldn't be responsible for the fine.

    Also, would most people think that the area you selected would be part of an HOA? Entry sign or gate, common playgrounds, pools, &/or community clubhouse?

    • No
      Lv 6
      10 months agoReport

      Something similar happened in my neighborhood. One of my neighbors rented a house to a woman with a pitbull. The hoa ordered it removed. The lease conflicted with HOA rules and my neighbor was racking up $50/day fines that he couldn't make the tenant pay. He ended up having to pay her to leave.

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  • Anonymous
    10 months ago

    You should probably speak to a lawyer. Your landlord should have notified you of any complaint right away, so you could correct the problem, Did you actually read your lease? Did it tell you to maintain the lawn? Since he didn't tell you he received a complaint, he might be responsible to pay the fine, but now that you are aware of the HOA you are responsible to adhere to all their rules.

    It's doubtful he will release you from the lease, and he certainly wouldn't be responsible for your moving expenses, reasonable or otherwise. As for the fines, he can pay them, and deduct them from your security deposit at the end of your tenancy.

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