i rent a condo that is being foreclosed on because the owners defaulted on the mortgage. the hoa fees were not being paid by my landlord, this was unknown to me. now the hoa association wants to double my rent and tells me i must pay them not my landlord. what are my options and how long do i have before i am evicted for refusing to pay the hoa
Section 718.3116(11), Florida Statutes provides a condo association (COA) the ability to demand a tenant who is leasing a unit to pay rent directly to the COA. This law is in place to protect COA in circumstances where a condo onwer is receiving rent from a tenant in a unit, but the assessments are not being paid. If the COA followed the proper notice procedures, it can avail itself to the Chapter 83, Florida Statutes concerning landlord/tenant law.
Once the COA is acting as a landlord, it can evict, and in some instances, charge double rent. However, just as the notice provisions under COA must be followed in order for a COA to act as landlord, the COA must also follow the certain notice requirements to evict under landlord/tenant law.
You will likely need an experienced association attorney to help you determine whether the COA is acting properly. However, generally speaking, both COA's and HOA's have the ability to act as landlords and evict for non-payment of rent provided that the circumstances justify such a scenario and the COA or HOA took the appropriate notification measures.
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I have to disagree with the first answer. While the association can evict you if you refuse to pay the rent to them instead of the landlord, there is nothing in the statute that allows the association to double your rent. They can only seize the rent you are required to pay and apply that to the past due assessments.
Also, there are some challenges to that statute because no new statute can be applied retroactively to change a contract, meaning the Declaration of Condominium, which is a contract, was most likely recorded before the statute and therefore the statute will not apply. While some believe the statute can be applied retroactively as a public policy statute, there is no language in the statute providing for this (and usually there is) plus no association can engage in conduct not authorized by its governing documents; therefore, unless the governing documents authorize the association to seize the rent, I would argue they are committing ultra vires acts (acts not authorized).
In the end, does it really matter who you pay your rent to? The landlord can't evict you if the COA seizes the rent. I would tell them you will pay the rent as stated in your lease.
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As you can see, there is some ambiguity with the applicability and interpretation of the statute. The statute that allows the COA to collect rent, makes reference to the applicability of landlord-tenant (L-T) laws (different statutes). And, L-T laws do allow for double rent if you're a holdover tenant (i.e., staying past your lease term without renewal). We don't have enough facts to make a final determination, and you should see a knowledgeable L-T/COA attorney who can review your situation specifically and offer options.