How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask RealEstateAnswer Your Own Question
RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 26743
Experience:  10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
RealEstateAnswer is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am a tenant; I received fines from the HOA that I was not

This answer was rated:

I am a tenant; I received fines from the HOA that I was not notified about until the fines were already imposed. My landlord did not notify me that there were any problems for over 90 days. By doing so, I did not have an opportunity to remedy the problems (trees growing too big and trash cans sitting outside my house in view) until I was already accruing fines. I agree the trash can were my fault I did not have room inside my garage from them, but still was not notified I was in violation. The trees started last June and I have trimmed them but not to their satisfaction. The Landlord even had someone come in and trim the trees but did not notify me that it was because they were a problem. July and August went by with no Idea that letters were being sent to my landlord. When I made a request for some maintenance in September I was finally notified by the rental agent not the landlord that there was a problem and still it took him over 2 more weeks to email me what the problem were and that I was being fined. Now, I paid my rent like normal for October and got a letter from the rental agency that my rent was late. The rent was late because they put the fines on the rent but did not post it with the amount I was asked to pay which was a clerical error not my error. So, the rent was not late just short the fine amount. I have not paid the fines because the rental agent told me to wait to see if he could have them removed since I paid a landscape company to come in and trim the trees way back. Now I am receiving late fees, still being told to wait a couple more weeks and all I want to do is pay the fine and get on with my life. I have no idea what to pay because I cannot get an answer out of the rental agent. He returns my emails and phone calls when he feels like it. All the while I am being assessed more and more money for something I did not know about it the first place.
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good morning. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. Do you know how much is owed at this time? Are you able to contact and speak with the HOA directly? Is it the rental agency who is assess more money and if so, why are they doing this? Is it a result of the late rent or fines and they are adding interest?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No I have no idea what is owed I have asked with no reply. I cannot talk to the HOA, I have contacted them and was told they do not talk to tenants only landlords. I paid my rent on the 27th of September and it was not due until the 4th of October. They say it is late because I did not pay the fines which were not included on the bill. Plus, the rental agent said he was working on having the fines removed and it would take a couple more weeks and I have offered to go ahead an pay the fines. The rental agency is adding processing fees for the past due letters when my rent is not past due.

Thank you for the additional information. The rental agency has an obligation to provide you with timely notice of the violation and give you a chance to correct it. For the landlord to wait 90+ days to advise you of the problem is hardly timely and you certainly have a defense to raise, if they are trying to add on additional fees and costs, outside of the fine. The HOA will advise the owner/landlord of the violation and then you should have been told and given a chance to correct it, prior to any fines being imposed. If you needed more time, the landlord could have requested it on your behalf. After all, the goal is simply to correct the matter. The rent should be separate and apart from the fees and the later you received should involve only the fees. If the rental agency is going to deduct the fees from the rent, they need to send you an itemized list of the balance owed and what it is for. Based on what you described above, you should make a demand from the rental agency to see 1) a copy of the notice when it was first received of the violation and inquire as to why they waited so long to contact you to correct it 2) a break down of charges and how/ why this was deducted from your rent and 3) request in the letter that the additional fees and cost they are charging be waived, since the failure to pay is a result of no fault of your advise. Document the times you have called and emailed them without a response and ask for a list of exactly what is owed at this time, so you can pay. Even if they wanted to take legal action against you, you certainly have defenses to raise.

Please let me know if you have any follow up questions or need any clarification on something which I stated above. Also, remember to rate my service before exiting the site, so I can receive credit for my help. I hope you found it to be Excellent! Only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. If you feel the need to click either of the two lower ratings to the left, please stop and reply to me. I want to make sure your experience with the site was as pleasurable as possible and that you are satisfied with the help I provided.
RealEstateAnswer and other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you