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Im a renter and the HOA has turned the condo over to a lawyer to collect dues. The owner is not charging rent.

Orlando, FL |

I was renting a condo at 995 a month on a 12 year lease.A t end of lease, owner lets us know he needs to sell. He says we can stay month to month , while showing the place, at 750 a month, no lease. A year goes by and he says the bank will not accept any of the offers he had on the place and he will have to foreclose. We receive a letter from a law firm stating we must pay HOA fees to them. The owner decided to let us pay the fees instead of any rent and not receive our deposit back. We pay the 388 in HOA fees for almost a year. We then receive the check back, with a note saying that lawfirm is no longer handling the condo, we will hear from the new lawfirm soon. 9 months later we get a notice from new lawfirm. It does not say how much to pay. HOA is saying we pay 995. What do we pay?

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Attorney answers 4


You need to consult with landlord-tenant attorney with experience with foreclosure and HOA law. If you have no written agreement, and the payment arrangments kept changing, you may not have an obligation. Also, have you spoken to the owner? If the owner is allowing the condo to be foreclosed on, he may not care if the HOA fees are paid or not, as that is ultimately the same thing that the HOA would do. On the other hand, if he is concerned that the HOA would come after him, he may be very upset. You need to know exactly what your legal obligation is, and there are so many variables here that a definitive answer is beyond the scope of this forum.

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******


The HOA is within its rights to ask you to pay $995.00 as that is the rent amount. Not just the HOA assessment but what you were to pay the landlord. You had a 12-year lease, and the HOA knows about it no doubt because your tenancy was approved by the HOA--they already know the terms and $ amounts.

I hope you found this response to be of assistance. This response shall not be considered the rendering of legal advise but instead a general response to a general question. While Avvo is a wonderful resource, nothing can be a substitute for an in-depth consultation with an attorney in the jurisdiction in which the law is to be applied. This response shall not be deemed to create an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it create an obligation on the part of the attorney to respond to further inquiry from the questioner.

Jeffrey B. Lampert

Jeffrey B. Lampert


I have to confess that I misread the question, and apologize for any confusion. The $995.00 rent disappeared when the written lease ended. The lease was probably for 1 year or 12 months, not 12 years. The $750.00 rent also disappeared when the landlord reduced the rent to $388.00. The HOA does not see it that way, of course. My colleague who wrote that courts are protective of HOAs and COAs was quite accurate, but they certainly did accept your checks all that time. Make an offer to pay a reasonable amount of rent that you can afford to avoid a court's decision. Make it written so that if you do have to appear in court you can show your ood faith efforts. In that letter advise that $388.00 IS the rent the landlord requires and that you are willing to pay it, but to avoid court, you would pay $x. That letter then can be presented to the Court.


As Attorney Morcroft suggested, you should contact both the owner of the condo as well as an experienced attorney. Your situation is being made a bit complex by the fact that your rent amounts change. Although it may be that the HOA is within their legal right to request that your rent payments (or a portion thereof) be paid to them is the owner is not paying assessments, it is also important for you to know what the status of everything is and what the owner's plans are. Without more information, it is impossible for us to say what, if anything, you should pay the HOA. Good luck!

Please note that the response above is not meant to constitute legal advice and it does not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should contact an experienced attorney to assist you.


The association is demanding the rent under the 12-year lease, but that lease no longer exists due to a material breach. You can assert this to the HOA lawyer and inform him/her you have not paid rent due to the breach. If you have no duty to pay rent, then they cannot demand something you are not required to pay. The risk in this is the courts like to protect the HOAs and the court may try to impose a reasonable rent on you. While the statute does not allow this, the courts sometimes issue rulings that make no sense. Also, if you pay nothing, the HOA will foreclose on the owner very quickly and you will be forced to move. My suggestion is to state you are not required to pay rent, have not paid rent for quite some time, but offer to pay something in the middle -- maybe $600.

This communication is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is always recommended you consult an attorney in person to discuss your case. The Law Offices of Stage & Associates practices state-wide and represents homeowners and community associations. Please visit our website at

Jeffrey B. Lampert

Jeffrey B. Lampert


Barbara, what I find fascinating is that there are 4 lawyers with an answer to this question, and it appears 3 different interpretations of the facts. LOL You saw a material breach, but I don't. I read the 12-year lease but then actually realized they meant 1-year or 12-months, and either way I do not see a breach by the landlord in the question.

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