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Questions about Townhouse Laws

What is a townhouse?

A townhouse is defined as a type of medium-density housing that is located in a city type setting. In most cases the townhouses are terraced, but not in all cases, and are semi-detached. Townhouses are sometimes, but not all the time, found in rows of several different homes, that are somewhat attached. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about Townhouses and the laws that govern them.

How can a disabled person get the fees back for the towing of his/her car when the HOA knew the car belonged to a resident that is disabled?

Sometimes the person can hire an attorney and have them send a letter to the HOA ( Home Owners Association) demanding that the car be returned and that all the fees for the towing be paid by the HOA. If the letter does not work then the person would have two other options. The first option is to take the HOA to court and demand that they knew the car was the disabled resident and that they should pay for the car towing fees and return the car to the person or two they could pay the fees and then take the HOA to court and demand repayment of all money due to them knowing that the car was the disabled persons.

If a townhouse renter suspects black mold in the townhouse, can the renter withhold rent until the maintenance fixes the black mold problem or move to a new residence that is black mold free without being in breach of the contract?

The person would need to write the landlord and list the issues that are going on and that need to be fixed. Include in the letter a demand on when the issues will be resolved and try to get the landlord to set a time frame as to when the repairs will be made and finished. If the tenant decides to withhold the rent, then he/she would need to place that money into a separate account and save it so that when the landlord takes the tenant to court and sues for non-payment the tenant can prove to the judge that he/she indeed had the rent the whole time, they were just withholding it to get the repairs done that needed to be done. The tenant would also need to get the advice of a professional on black mold so that he/she has the evidence that he/she needs to prove their case if it goes to court.

What should a renter of a townhouse do if they paid their rent late and the office staff accepted it, then turned around and said that eviction proceedings were started and that the landlord had a agreement and had accepted late rent in the past?

If a landlord sets a date that the rent should be paid by a certain date or eviction proceedings would start, then the landlord has the right to refuse payment after that date. If the case is taken to court, then the tenant could argue that the landlord waived the right to refuse payment due to the fact that the employee accepted the rent when the tenant went into the office and paid it. The tenant also can use the established pattern of the landlord accepting late rent as a defense, which would prove that the landlord continually accepted the late rent and knew the situation and agreed to work with the tenant.

If a owner of a townhouse has two dogs that go into a fight, the owner separated them, can the association make the owner give up the dogs if the dog did not attack an outside dog or person?

The law is not really on the side of the townhouse owner in this case due to the fact that if the dog was disturbing the peace, then the HOA can force the dog owner to get rid of the dog. Now the dog owner can try to argue that the dog did not bay or howl, which is what the statute says, then he/she may be able to keep the dog due to it not being a normal action on behalf of the dog. There are several HOA that have a strict ban on pit-bulls, so it may be hard for the dog owner to keep the dog.

When buying or renting a townhouse, there may be several legal questions that can arise. When you are unsure of your legal standing, ask an Expert.
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