What to Do About Problem Condo Tenants

One of the perks of owning property, especially a condo, is that owners may be able to rent out their condo out as a source of income. As such, condos are often a popular source of investment, as condo owners are usually free to rent out their properties to whomever they’d like, and at whatever rent they set, without intervention from a condo association board. However, this freedom can be a catch-22; owners are free to do with the condo what they like, but when problem tenants exist, resolving the issue can be a problem for the owner and the condo association.

Tips for Dealing with Bad Tenants

There are a number of issues that may characterize a tenant as “bad.” These include:

  • Failing to pay rent;
  • Failing to respect property rules (i.e. keeping a pet in a no-pet condo, making too much noise, etc.);
  • Continually disrupting neighbors;
  • Violating property maintenance rules (i.e putting up curtains in a color other than that permitted by the HOA); and
  • Illegally using the home (i.e. renting it out to others, using it for drugs, etc.).

If any of the above occur, there are a number of actions that condo owners can take to deal with the issue, including:

  • Creating structured payment options (i.e. automatic withdrawal);
  • Changing the rent/lease agreement;
  • Asking law enforcement to intervene (when city ordinances and laws have been breached);
  • Facilitating mediations between neighbors and the tenant;
  • Implementing a “three strikes” policy;
  • Giving warnings and make sure the tenant knows that eviction is possible; and
  • Initiating the eviction process.

Typically, eviction is a last-resort option when all other options have failed.

What Rights and Power Does a Condo Association Have?  

A condo association has few rights regarding a renter of a condo owner’s unit. In fact, the condo association’s only real form of recourse is to contact the unit owner, and fine the unit owner for any violations that the tenant has committed. Of course, if illegal activity or breaches of ordinances are occurring–such as having dogs off leash, violating noise ordinances, etc.–the condo association can involve the authorities.

In the event that the condo association’s requests from the condo owner to handle the problem tenant go unanswered and the problem persists, including the request that the owner evict the tenant, the association could bring forth a civil lawsuit against the condo owner and the renter. This could result in fines for the unit owner, forced eviction, or an agreement that behaviors will change or be penalized.

How Our Experienced Condo Association Lawyer Can Help

Understanding the laws regarding condo associations, and their power when it comes to handling a problem condo tenant, can be confusing. At the offices of Deborah Gold-Alexander Attorney at Law, our Massachusetts condo association lawyer has over 30 years’ experience guiding condo owners through the law and helping them to understand their options. If you are dealing with a problem condo tenant, Deborah Gold-Alexander is here to help. Contact her today for a free consultation and more information.