Condo Renter Accused of Rules Violations by Unit Owner

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M.G. from Florida writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

I am a renter at a condo. An owner is making false complaints about me to the management office. What can I do?

Mister Condo replies:

M.G., I am sorry to learn that you are on the receiving end of false complaints. No one enjoys being accused of doing something that they are not doing. You didn’t mention what, if any, counteractions have been taken by the association with regards to these complaints. Generally speaking, if a rule violation is observed by a unit owner, a complaint is made with the association or the property manager. If the rules allow, a fine may be issued for the infraction but that fine is levied against the unit owner, not you, the renter. If your rental agreement allows for the fine to be passed along to you, then your landlord may bill you for the fine that was a result of the unit owner’s complaint. All that being said, there is also the due process of levying a fine for a rule violation which involves a hearing where the unit owner (the landlord, in this case) has an opportunity to address the violation and state that it didn’t occur of that the complaint was errant. Then the Board decides what action to take (i.e. – levy a fine). If there are continued rules violations, there may be additional actions the Board can take. Has any of this happened yet? Since you didn’t tell me it has, my guess is that the complaint was either ignored or dismissed by the association, which is quite common. Keep living within the rules and my guess is you’ll be just fine. Good luck!

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