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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 117460
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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Please help me with a bully HOA president!I reside in Wellington,

Customer Question

Please help me with a bully HOA president!
I reside in Wellington, FL and I am having a problem with a HOA that is restricting me from having guest. We have rented the property for the past 7 years and renewed the lease in June. However, we were told that the only way we would be able to renew was to say that we would not allow my 19 year old son to visit the property. We had to agree under duress because we are not in the position to move right now due to family illness and job obligations.
Back story regarding my son. He was hanging out with another boy in the neighborhood who got into some legal trouble. This other boy is a known drug dealer and my son liked to play basketball with him on occasion. My son was with him one time on the basketball court and the HOA president said that he saw them smoking marijuana. However, this is hearsay and the police were not called, nor were they ever arrested doing so. On another occasion, my son was told he could not come through the gate to come to our house so he made the stupid decision to go through the guard gate exit to enter the property. The police were NOT called, but he was told that he could never come back onto the property again or he would be trespassing. We told the HOA to call the police if he did anything illegal again, but nothing happened after that date. Nevertheless, the HOA says they have a right to say he cannot visit us at our house. However, the other boy who is a known drug dealer (per the HOA president in an email to us) is still living at home with his parents because the HOA says they own the house and we are only renters. How is this right?
Today, we are in a position that is very disturbing. My son lost his job and is homeless, sleeping in his car. The HOA has nothing in writing that says he cannot visit us, but we cannot have him come over because they said they will call the police if he does. How can they tell us that we cannot have our son come home to get a shower or a hot meal? This is so wrong on so many levels and as a mother is breaking my heart. In addition, our landlord does not agree and is really upset with the HOA. At the end of the day, it is one bully HOA member who is also the president. He runs this association like he is a King and the neighborhood is his kingdom.
Finally, this is only the tip of the iceberg. The HOA president has knocked on our door threating us. He has phoned us yelling and calling us names while also telling us that the board wants us out and they will see that it happens. In addition, I have disparaging emails where is lying about us. However, when we asked the other BOD members why they are allowing this type of behavior, they refused to talk to us. They even went so far as to have the management company that runs the community refuse to talk to us. I seriously feel like a prisoner in my own home. We are good tenants and when we asked the HOA what rules have we violated over the past 7 years they said none. We have even asked for BOD minutes and copies of rules to the community and were refused. We have always paid our rent and never once have been late. We are quiet people and rarely have guest. We are educated and have good solid careers. We would like to be able to have our son visit and feel the HOA is illegally restricting us from doing so.
Thank you in advance for your time and advice.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am afraid that you have one recourse in this matter and that is negotiating with the board of directors. If the board refuses to change its mind, the board is not acting illegally based on the information you provided above. The board has a right to restrict those who they have some evidence that the person has committed illegal or improper acts on the HOA property. To further hurt your case, you signed a lease agreeing he could not come onto the property and I am afraid that courts hold people liable to contracts they sign, if not using a written contract would be meaningless.
They do have something in writing though, they have your lease that you signed saying you agreed he would not be allowed on the property, that is one place they get their right. They also have a right to control who comes onto HOA property and your son entering the guard gate after being told he could not enter has not helped his case.
You have really one remaining option if the board refuses to allow him on the property and that is to file suit in court against the board and HOA for improperly banning him from the property and acting in an arbitrary manner without any hearing which is depriving you of your rights to use your property. It is going to be a tough case if they bring in evidence of the actions you describe above involving your son, but it is the only chance you have and you will need to hire a local attorney to represent you in the matter to get this into court.