S.V. from Fairfield County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We are a small 10-unit complex (six townhomes and four garden apartments). We have one unit owner that rents out his place. Over the years, the tenants he has rented to have been disruptive to the complex (one tenant’s child would ride bikes in our parking lot, another had domestic issues where police were called) others leave personal belongings in the common area (which is against the bylaws). After repeated requests to the unit owner, it took two months for them to clear the area. I wondered, since it’s a condo, we don’t have rights as if we were a co-op but is there something that can be added to the bylaws to address this concern?
Mister Condo replies:
S.V., many condominium associations experience issues with renters. By their very nature, renters don’t have as much skin in the game as owners. They typically aren’t going to be long-term residents and they tend to be less concerned about the community’s rules, regulations, and long-term success. Rules enforcement is your best bet for compliance. The landlord is the unit owner responsible to the association and you should target your enforcement efforts there. The renters should have been provided a copy of the rules and regulations with their rental agreement so they cannot claim they didn’t know about the rules. You might consider raising the fines for rules violations, adding “move in / move out” fees and additional rules to control the chaos. However, as long as renters occupy any of your units, there will always be an issue or two. By the way, many coop owners have similar complaints. There is no euphoria in high density housing areas. There will always be some nonconformists who simply don’t care to follow the rules. All the best!