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HOA Software
By stephen polinsky • June 11, 2014

Condo association arbitrarily imposes move-in/move-out fee on owners

condo owners charged move out fee for renting unit 061114 resized 600

My Husband and I bought our condo last June and always have been in full compliance with the rules and regulations and always pay our dues and special assessments on time. Recently, I got a job out of town and we had to move. So, we have rented out our unit. Our by-laws have NO restrictions on renting. We have included in our lease that the tenant must obey all rules and regulations and the CC&Rs. We have a small condominium. There are also no requirements that we have to notify the Board of Directors or the Condo Association that we have moved and are now renting.

One of the reasons we bought the condo was because it was a great deal and perfect for us. We knew one day, also, that we would use it as a rental income property. We never imagined and still never imagine that we will sell our condo. However, we just received a letter from the condo management company that we owe $300 in move in/out fees, which we received on June 2, and which is due on the 15th. I called and said that the due date is quite short and unconscionable, and we negotiated to have it moved to the end of the month. Second, I asked when these dues were voted on. I was emailed a copy of meeting minutes from a Board of Directors meeting back on December 13. Only two (out of 3) of the directors were in attendance of this meeting. The minutes are completely void of any factual basis for the imposition of $150 for move-out fee and $150 for move-in fee, in addition the minutes provide that if there is damage during the move-in/out then they could assess additional fines. I am perfectly happy to pay for any damage either my Husband or I cause or our tenant. I also do not have an issue with paying move-in/out fees.

My question and issue is that the board of directors voted on this fee, which is NOT a special assessment. To me, charging a move-in/out fee is a fundamental change in the CC&R's and By-laws and not within the authority of the board of directors to arbitrarily impose. Most of the folks living in our condo have been there since it was a condo (1979) and a few younger couples have moved in recently, including me. It seems that the board of directors is imposing this to be stingy and anti-renter, which I understand to an extent. Since moving in, only one other condo unit has had a renter, and she has been there for years from what I know. My renter currently has signed a 12-month lease. I performed a very thorough investigation in her credit, job status, and rental history, and she has a spotless record. My main question and issue is whether the Board of Directors (2 of 3, specifically) can arbitrarily impose a move-in/out fee that has no factual basis, and which is not owner-voted, and which is not a special assessment?

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Please note that blog comments and postings are not legal advice, rather only the opinions of our readers.
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