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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37845
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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I got a call from my landlord about HOA fining him 1000$ to

Customer Question

I got a call from my landlord about HOA fining him 1000$ to 2000$ because of me doing Airbnb and money will be taken out of my deposit. He claimed they have evidence to prove it and will present it during next HOA board meeting. I do not do business with airbnb and don't advertise my place on this web page. However I allowed my friend to use my apartment for his airbnb guests 2 times, while I was out of town. HOA claiming they have evidence of this 2 particular cases. Could they obtain a testimony from people who stayed at my apartment and use it against me? (I can not imagine what other evidence they might have). I also went to search airbnb page myself and found 2 apartments from my building actively advertised there. One of them with many reviews and have hosted at least 54 people since beginning of this year and available for booking right now. Can I use this information for my defense ? And how? I din't confirm any wrong doing during initial conversation with my landlord. What can I do avoid or try to avoid fine.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Could they obtain a testimony from people who stayed at my apartment and use it against me?

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Yes if they could find the people and convince them to come and testify. But realistically there is no reason why the people would agree to come and testify as there is nothing in it for them and they can't be forced to do so as this isn't a legal court case.

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The question is if there is some type of restriction or Bylaw that prevents this type of rental activity?

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If so, and you allowed your friend to do it, then you have accomplice liability because you are liable for your guest's activities in the home.

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As for the other violators, you could make the HOA aware of it, but that wouldn't negate your violation, it just gives them someone else to go after if they aren't already doing so.

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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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Let me know if you have further questions.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As far as I know HOA can not fine me without proof. My question was: if one of the people who stayed at the place confessed to HOA person they are staying from airbnb. Is this evidence good enough to give me fine ? Also how sjould it be presented to be valid ?
What about HOA applying their rules selectively ? On me particularly but on others, is it legal? Also I don't advertise my place like other do.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

As far as I know HOA can not fine me without proof.

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Correct, they have to have evidence.

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My question was: if one of the people who stayed at the place confessed to HOA person they are staying from airbnb. Is this evidence good enough to give me fine ? Also how should it be presented to be valid ?

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If they get a sworn affidavit from one of the people who stayed there, or if they can convince someone to come and testify, and provide proof that they paid to stay there, then that is good enough to prove their case and impose the fine. You could object and try to sue the landlord if they improperly withheld money from your deposit, but if they have the same proof from the HOA, then if there is a restriction on this type of activity, the judge would rule in the landlord's favor.

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What about HOA applying their rules selectively ? On me particularly but on others, is it legal?

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They should be enforcing the rules evenly against everyone, but that wouldn't negate any violations that happened on your property. You could try to sue them for selective enforcement, and argue that they are illegally picking on you for these actions. But proving damages might be difficult.

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Also I don't advertise my place like other do.

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Advertising isn't the violation they are objecting to...it is the actual short term rentals that were the problem..

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thanks

Barrister