M.B. from Fairfield County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our condo association has recently changed the guest and tenant policies. If you have a family staying at your condo while you are not there, they can ask for proof of family relationship, an affidavit as to absence of payment. If leasing, you have to submit the age of the owner and any tenants, tenant employment history, 2 personal references, and if they so desire, an “in person” interview! Is all of this legal? I didn’t think you could be asked your specific age, only if you are over 18 and able to enter into a contract. They also are requiring 10 days notice to the board if I decide to have my brother stay in my condo. Power has gone to their heads!!
Mister Condo replies:
M.B., I appreciate your concern but I haven’t heard of your Board doing anything too extraordinary in your letter. In fact, it sounds to me like they are practicing due diligence and following the spirit of the rules and regulations of the association, which is exactly why most people buy into an association. They expect the Board to maintain, protect, and enhance their property values by adhering to a fairly straightforward set of rules and regulations, which the Board can vote to modify over time if it helps them do their job. Keeping track of who lives within the association’s walls is paramount to getting that job done. If the association has rules in place about what defines a family member staying at the condo for prolonged periods of time it is likely that they are trying to prevent unit owners from claiming that a tenant is a family member, when in reality it is just a tenant and the unit owner is trying to avoid paying charges or providing documentation for the tenant. “Family” certainly isn’t “visiting” the unit owner when the unit owner isn’t at the unit! As far as enforcing leasing regulations, it sounds like this Board is on top of their game. There are state and federal laws regarding discrimination but the Board is well within its rights to require all sorts of information about any potential tenant. I am not all that certain on why they require 10 days notice your brother stays at the condo but as long as it is a universally carried out procedure (all unit owners subjected to the same scrutiny) it is very likely within their rights as well. I hope this clears up some of these issues for you, M.B.. All the best!