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Can HOA charge me penalty because I rent out my condo?

Kirkland, WA |


I bought a condo in Bellevue, WA in 2010. When I bought the condo, my agent told me that there was NO rental cap. I tried to research online and I could not find any rental cap information neither. I did not receive any detail rental policy from anyone stating who is eligible to rent out the property. When I purchased the condo, the unit next to my unit was also rented out. Now the HOA suddenly told me that there is a rental cap, and only 8 units in the community are allowed to be rented out. Now they need to charge me $300 per month for penalty. Could anyone please advise me what I can do on this issue legally? Thanks in advance:)

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Attorney answers 1


The answer to your question - which is basically (a) can the association restrict your ability to rent your unit and, if so, can they fine you for renting in violation of a rental cap - is found in the governing documents for your association. Your agent may have been wrong in stating there was no rental cap. Or, your association may have adopted a rental cap after you purchased the unit (although you should have received notice of a proposed amendment if that is the case).

You need to sit down and review the declaration, amendments, and any other governing documents for your association to figure out whether your association is applying its governing documents correctly. You may wish to do this with the assistance of an attorney experienced in community association law. There is a link below to help you find a referral.

If your association has a properly adopted rental cap and if it is enforcing the cap in accordance with its rules and regulations/rental policy, you may be stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Good luck.

Avvo answers are intended to provide general information only; not legal advice.