The Joy of Renting

Avatar“You know what I hate? HOA’s!”

Thus was the conversation starter this afternoon with one of my favorite servers at a local owl-related restaurant. Probing further, I learned the real issue was the HOA for Citrus Point, the Surprise subdivision in which she is renting, had fined her for having weeds visible in the front yard back on April 18.

She had moved into the house on April 15.

“Aren’t they supposed to send a warning?” she asked. I explained there was a more than decent chance the HOA had sent a warning – to the owner of the home. And knowing how many homeowners’ associations operate, the warning could have been sent anytime over the preceding 12 months.

Warnings from an HOA are directed at the homeowner themselves, not the tenant. But in many cases they become the tenant’s problem. All of the leases I write for my investors, for example, include language that says the tenant will pay any homeowner association fines. After all, it’s not unreasonable for a tenant to keep a property in good condition to avoid fines from the HOA.

Having said that … this situation makes little sense. Maybe I’m empathetic because I once received a warning from an HOA because weeds were present the day I moved into the house. Given that they didn’t emerge from the ground that morning, I was fairly certain this was not my issue. Or at least, shouldn’t have been had the previous owner turned the property over in broom-swept condition.

Whether she ends up successfully getting the owner to step forward and pay the fines for failing to maintain the premises during the listing period, we’ll have to see. But this serves as yet another example of the joys of renting versus owning your own home.

[tags]real estate, Phoenix real estate, property management, renting[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at