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Can a homeowners association evict a lessee?

Homeowners associations and condominium associations are generally a great benefit to those owning property and residing therein. Association documents include rules which are drafted with the intent to keep peace and harmony amongst owners. Unfortunately, all it takes is one nuisance owner or tenant to disrupt that peace and harmony. The question is often posed, can the association evict that nuisance person?

For the most part, the association cannot evict a property owner. Generally, an HOA’s best recourse against nuisance property owners is to rely on the fines typically authorized in the association declaration or bylaws.  However, if the nuisance is a renter and not an owner, there can be more extreme measures available to associations.

In 1205 Saint Charles Condominium Association, Inc. vs. Clifford Abel, et al, the Louisiana 4th Circuit affirmed an eviction on behalf of the Association. In Abel, the Association filed its eviction exercising rights found within the lease.  The Condominium Documents contained a provision which designated the Association as the lessor’s agent to enforce compliance with the terms of the lease and the Condominium Documents and allowed the Association to evict the tenant for failure to comply.

At the eviction hearing, the Association presented multiple witnesses showing that the nuisance tenant had repeatedly violated the Condominium Documents.  Based on those findings, the court granted the eviction. Thus, Abel reaffirms the fact the tenants can be evicted by the Association.

Another common scenario is when the unit owner allows a family relative to live with them. While the Association might not have an issue with the owner, that relative maybe the one creating undue noise disturbance or nuisance. The issue then becomes a little more complicated, however there are ways to deter that relative from remaining in that unit. One option, as discussed above, is to levy penalties against the owner for his guest’s behavior. The alternative option would be to review the association documents prohibiting guests from occupying the unit. In addition, the condominium documents may provide for immediate relief to deter nuisance behavior.

If your association is dealing with a nuisance tenant or occupant, contact us today to evaluate your options and curb the problem before it’s too late.

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