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William B. Esq.
William B. Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2958
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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I am a renter in a townhouse community and I have come across

Resolved Question:

I am a renter in a townhouse community and I have come across a problem. The place I have been living for the last three years is denying me gate access to my residence. It started a day ago when my son can over to visit and told him he was not allowed to go to that residence because the management company said they didn't have a lease on file for me. So i went to the gate and took them my copy of the lease and raised hell. The guy called his boss and his boss said not to let ME back in either! But after awhile of arguing, the gate guard wrote my sun a guest pass and let him in. I went through as well with my electronic sticker. Today after returning home from work, my gate sticker was deactivated! the gate guard said the management company told them not to let us in and to call the cops if we need to! so i called the cops. After the cops came they talked with some of the comunitty board members and the security company's boss. He said they told him that the board is starting eviction precedings because they dont want either of my sons coming in the neighborhood. The said they run background checks and they have criminal records so they don't want them there. Both of my sons have been arrested various times but the charges were dropped. They did not have permission to run checks and all the did was somehow look them up on the local sheriff website. The owner of my unit is in Europe and has no idea this is happening and I can get a hold of her. They told me I have to park outside the community and walk to my house. I'm 63 years old. how is this legal!? does the management company and the board have this authority to do this? I haven't received and paperwork or eviction notices. I feel like this is very wrong. How and they deny me access to my home because they don't approve of my family that comes to see me? please help. I'm not sure what to do. I live in Florida
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 9 months ago.

William B. Esq. :

Thank you for using our service. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X would like to assist you today.

William B. Esq. :

I am sorry to learn of this matter. What you have described is improper and almost certainly is a "wrongful eviction."

William B. Esq. :

The first place to start with any eviction matter, is notice. Has your landlord given notice (I know the answer is no, but I must ask), and did the HOA give you written notice to quit?

Customer:

But I havent even gotten anything from anybody and my landloard it not aware of the matter and we are on very good terms

Customer:

this is all the management company and board members of the comunity

William B. Esq. :

I understand, without any formal notice (either a 3 day or 30 day notice to quit) a landlord (let alone an HOA) cannot even begin an eviction process.

Customer:

I spoke with my landlords husband who is here in town and he is trying to contact her

Customer:

they are basically just denying me gate access

William B. Esq. :

Your landlord is the proper person to deal with the issue. She will be able to address the HOA's blocking of her tenant's gate access, and denial of her rights as a homeowner in the HOA. She is defending your right as her tenant to quiet enjoyment.

Customer:

they wont let me into the community and are saying I have to park outside and walk because they cant stop me if I walk in

William B. Esq. :

You are paying for parking space within the community as part of your rent though as well, correct?

William B. Esq. :

(Quite simply - the HOA is wrong, and the actions they are taking will subject them to compensatory and declaratory relief for "arbitrary and capricious" enforcement of the CC&Rs)

Customer:

So just to clarify the management company and board of directors do not have Authority regarding denying me access or evicting me?

Customer:

No i dont pay for parking. I have my own driveway

Customer:

They said the lease is being violated because they dont allow people with criminal record in to that community

William B. Esq. :

No, they have no such direct authority. When I represent an HOA and there is a "problem tenant" - someone violating the HOA's CC&Rs as a tenant, we are required to pursue the homeowner/landlord. Check the terms of your lease to confirm.

William B. Esq. :

You do pay for parking space, the driveway is part of your leased premises

Customer:

My my sons are not felons and haven't been in an trouble for many years

William B. Esq. :

Check your lease document, but it is doubtful that the terms (assuming they exist as they are claimed to be) apply in the manner they claim.

Customer:

oh ok then I do pay for parking

Customer:

But they wont let me back in and my landlord is out of the country. what should i do?

William B. Esq. :

If the HOA claims to have any sort of what is called "contractual privity" with you, where they claim they can enforce the terms of the lease - then you similarly have a right to enforce all of the terms under the FL statutes regarding tenant protection (see below)

William B. Esq. :

If they continue to not allow you access - you can file a lawsuit in small claims to request declaratory relief and damages to allow you access to your leased property. You are asking extraordinary relief, but given the situation, you should be able to do so under the terms of the CC&Rs for your landlord - right of access etc.

Customer:

so who is ultimately responsible for these actions and who should i go after? the home owners association or the managment company?

William B. Esq. :

Your landlord is the primary person you can hold responsible. As far as the party you would want to sue if you are unable to get any assistance from her due to her being out of the country, you can sue the HOA. (the management company, security, etc. are all just agents of the HOA, and you cannot sue the individual board members for this type of conduct - although if this escalates you may wish to speak to an attorney at which point such action may be appropriate).

Customer:

what about the claim they say my sons have a criminal record and cannot visit me? is that legal? and how are they even allowed to make that claim without anyone consenting to a background check or even taking convictions and dropped charges into account

Customer:

I was under the impression I can have whomever I want at anytime at my house as long as they don't cause problems (which no one has) this is all very random with the timing. I feel like one of the board members decided to do some home background check and saw my sons since they have my last name and that is what caused this

William B. Esq. :

While it is possible in some situations in which criminal history does act as a bar to housing (it requires convictions, and from your characterization is far outside of your sons' conduct - which is immaterial in any event if they only come to visit and not to live), you are the resident and your sons are not.

William B. Esq. :

It is possible to do a background check on an individual without their consent - but the term "background check" is very broad and can go from simply a search of public records, to much more specialized and confidential reports of governmental and financial sector records.

Customer:

yes i understand. Just wanted clarifications on what legal premises i have against their accusations against my sons. So basically their feeling about my sons character are irrelevant in this matter regardless of their criminal history?

William B. Esq. :

Correct - the Association cannot keep you from parking in your driveway.

Customer:

So my next step in this process is to hire a civil attorney to sue the association?

William B. Esq. :

Regarding allowing your sons onto the HOA property, that is governed by the HOA rules and guidelines, but it is also governed by Federal anti-discrimination laws.

Customer:

i cant believe this

William B. Esq. :

I would advise getting an attorney, it appears your situation as you describe it is untenable.

Customer:

I just want to go home

Customer:

ok well thank you very much for your assistance

William B. Esq. :

You are welcome. I do wish you the very best in this situation, and I hope that you are able to get a speedy resolution (perhaps others in the HOA will realize what is going on is not permissible and step in).

Customer:

hopefully

Customer:

take care sir

William B. Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2958
Experience: I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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