Renters in Community Associations

by: Community Associations Institute

Non-Owner Residents in Community Associations

Renters in Community Associations

Renters in Community Associations

CAI supports a balanced approach to the treatment of all residents in community associations – owners and renters. This entails protecting traditional property rights, ensuring that all residents comply with association standards regardless of ownership status, and encouraging the involvement of all residents in the community.

Because communication between the association and renters is essential, owners should not allow themselves to become a barrier between the association and the renter. It’s essential that owners provide names and contact information for renters so the association can communicate with renters as they do owners. Furthermore, it is imperative that owners inform renters about the nature of association living – the need to follow rules, for example. Renters and the association are disadvantaged when this doesn’t happen.

The following recommendations will help ensure a successful relationship between renters and community associations:

Association governing documents should require a minimum lease period. This can help limit the use of units for transitory rentals. The documents also should require that the lease specify the obligation of the tenant to comply with the rules and regulations of the association. The lease should stipulate that the association has the right to evict tenants who violate this term of the lease, but only after notice to the owner that includes an opportunity to correct the problem.

Associations should reach out to all residents – regardless of ownership status – encouraging participation in association activities, on committees and during community meetings.

Associations should distribute materials such as newsletters and meeting announcements by multiple means – not just through the mail – so residents whose names and addresses are unknown to the association are aware of community issues and events. This might include posting notices on public bulletin boards, leaving newsletters on doorsteps or posting meeting announcements on websites.

Associations should require owners to:

Notify the community association when there is a change of tenants.

Give the association the names of all new tenants.

Provide the association with a copy of the signed lease, which allows the association to reference the documents should the association need to clarify an issue with the renter.