Condos and Rentals

Condos and Rentals

New tenants and approval process

Condos and rentals normally have very strict procedures for allowing new tenants to move into the community. There will most likely be a 2-4 week approval process that must take place BEFORE your new tenant moves in. Work WITH the condo association. As intrusive as they can seem sometimes, they hold A LOT of legal power over you. Condo associations, if they have an approval process in the bylaws, has the power to reject your chosen tenant. They can evict your chosen tenant, they can fine you, they can even foreclose on your property. Do NOT forget to follow all of your condo (or HOA) application process steps, and rules and regulations.

Make sure you have copies of the most important condo docs and condo application to provide to your new tenant. Before they can move in, they will need to be approved!! HOAs usually don't require prior approval for tenants. However, BOTH have rules and regulations. And BOTH will send YOU fines if your tenants aren't following the rules. Make sure you provide them with the information you expect them to know and adhere to!

Seek approval from any applicable Condo or Homeowner Association. Call that Management company and get a copy of the most recent Tenant Application for Approval.

This condo application will be different, and following, any tenant application you already used to narrow down your search for tenants. Your application, and a condo application, will ask different things. Don't rely on the condo application for your own beginning tenant screening purposes!

And remember, just because you like this tenant and you now have a signed lease does NOT mean the association has to approve them. The tenant could still be rejected (though most of the time, they approve).

Reasons could be criminal background, low credit scores, number of occupants, number or kind of vehicles (company marked truck?). 

If the tenant moves in without association approval, and approval is required, you'll pay a ton of money in fines, as well as any legal costs when they start the eviction process. Most Condo Association documents say they have the right to EVICT your tenant if they move in without prior approval!

The tenants will need to fill out the packet, and owners will probably have to fill in some parts as well and sign, and all must be submitted with a signed copy of the lease. You should allow anywhere from 1-4 weeks for approval time depending on the management company.

Hint: If you are working with a Realtor and/or Rental Property Management service, they will take care of all this for you!!!

Condo association having issues with your tenant?

Condos and rentals don't always get along great. Especially if the management company or Board of Directors has had bad experiences with tenants in the past, they can be very strict. We've seen situations where condo boards have actively tried to drive out renters. And other condo boards have changed the rules mid-year to limit the amount of units in the community that are allowed to rent their property out at all. Many condo associations view rentals as a negative thing.

You will usually find out that the association is having an issue with your tenant by receiving a Notice. However, some condo associations are terrible at keeping up with contact information of owners, versus absentee owners/renters. When they decide a resident has dumped a piece of furniture, and which resident it was... they send out a Notice or a fine. Either (depends on by laws if you get a warning first or just a monetary fine) will be sent in the mail. Will they mail it to you, as the landlord? Or will they simply mail it to the property address for the tenant to open. It's great to notify the tenant what they are doing wrong. But will they care? Correct the issue? What if it wasn't them? Will they take the steps to respond and fight it? And what if they ignore it and a penalty is instituted. Where does that penalty go?  Against YOUR account! You may not even learn about it for a long time, if your association isn't good keeping up with which units have absentee owners, and what those owner's addresses are.

One way to avoid these condos and rentals common issues is to make sure, when your tenant is applying to the association for approval... to communicate with your property manager. Make sure they know this unit is a rental, and make sure they have your correct mailing address. Ask them to make sure they send all condo correspondence to YOU, and NOT to the unit address. Just remember, you'll be responsible for notifying your tenant of anything they need to know regarding the condo association at that point. Very few condo associations will send information to BOTH the absentee owner and the unit address (tenant).

Make sure you give your tenants all of the condo rules they need to adhere to. Condos and rentals aren't always the easiest mix. The condo association is very powerful, and can force an eviction and make YOU pay for it. Any legal action they take against your tenant, any fines, any penalties, are all the owners responsibility.

Make sure you stipulate in your lease that tenants are responsible for any association fines. This will help you avoid future issues.

Florida Statutes relating to condos and rentals: