Real Estate Law
Have Real Estate Law Questions? Ask a Real Estate Lawyer.
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.
Do the Bylaws of the Association give the HOA the authority to screen potential tenants who want to rent in the neighborhood?
If so, do they state what criteria that the applicant has to meet in order to be approved?
You have emailed, but have you approached the board members personally or by calling them?
Ok, I don't see anything inherently wrong with the application. The question I have is how they decide whether to approve someone or not... They have to have some set of standards or it ends up being an entirely arbitrary decision. So if there is not a checklist of things, then they could simply discriminate against an applicant based on some illegal criteria like race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc. which would be entirely illegal.
But the fact that they give themselves up to 30 days to respond means that you really can't force them to do so before then.
However, I would suggest that you ask the Board for a list of what criteria that they use to evaluate a potential tenant because if it is simply whatever they feel like at the moment, then I would argue that that is so "vague as to be void" and you could challenge them if they denied someone but couldn't articulate why. They have to have some checklist criteria to go by so that it has the appearance of being a fair evaluation.
If the Board is ignoring any requests for specific information, then it is pretty likely that they are just "winging it" and they just approve someone if they like them and reject them if they don't. So some owner is going to have to put them on the spot at a meeting and ask them to specifically set out how they decide whether or not to approve an applicant. It can't be a big secret behind closed doors as the members have a right to know the process and whether the Board if following it.
This might result in some owner having to file suit against the Board under a breach of contract claim because if they are just arbitrarily making decisions without any criteria backing them up, then they are breaching their duty to the owners to be fair to all parties.
I think you are forced to wait the 30 days by their own statements on the application.. If they don't respond within that time, then you will have to look at the Bylaws to see what it says about whether the applicant is deemed rejected or accepted. Some Bylaws say that if there is no explicit rejection, it is considered an approval. But this is typically with architectural review applications...
If there is nothing in the Bylaws about what happens if there is no decision in 30 days, then you are left with either contacting all the Board members repeatedly until you get a response or filing suit against them under a breach of contract claim since they aren't fulfilling their legal duties as a Board.
You are very welcome. Happy to help any time..
Well hopefully they are still wrapping things up and you will get an answer one way or the other... But I think if I were you I would still pursue trying to nail them down on what criteria they use if for no other reason than you will know what they are looking for so you can pre-screen any future applicants so you don't send them someone who you know will get rejected. But getting them to disclose what they use as criteria might be like trying to nail jello to the wall if they are just going on instinct...
I agree that this may be something that you want to bring up at any Board meeting of all the members because I am sure you aren't the first one to run into this problem..
All the best to you and yours.