Florida law now permits common interest community associations to do what Stark & Stark has been practicing with its clients for years without the help of New Jersey’s legislature. The Florida legislature recently passed a law that allows homeowner associations to collect capital contribution from renters for arrears that accrue when the homeowners fail to pay their monthly maintenance fees, HOA fees, special assessment fees, and other condo fees.
The recession has effected many Associations, and most have owners who have not paid their monthly maintenance fees, HOA fees, special assessment fees, and other condo fees for months. Amazingly enough, some delinquent owners are actively collecting rent from tenants living in their units, yet still fail to pay their regular dues. The Florida law permits homeowner associations to formally notify renters that their payments should be made directly to the association, not to a landlord. The tenants do not need to make any other rental payment other than what is ordered by the association to pay the remaining balance owed on the Unit.
The process is not as simple and straightforward in New Jersey, but Stark & Stark attorneys have successfully argued to the court the absurdity of a unit owner who refuses to pay monthly maintenance fees, HOA fees, special assessment fees, and other condo fees yet continues to collect rent from a tenant. In many of these situations, the court has appointed a "rent receiver", typically the property management company, to accept the rent from the tenant each month, pay the outstanding condo fees, and give any balance of those fees to the unit owner/landlord. This benefits not only the Association, but the tenant as well, who arguably should not be evicted or foreclosed upon when they are complying with the terms of their lease agreement. Stark & Stark’s New York clients have the benefit of a New York statute which permits the Association to collect rent from tenants, however, if the tenants do not pay, the statute does not give the Association the right to sue the tenant directly, which all but eliminates the Association’s ability to enforce the statute.