Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Pennsylvania

I just received a Leasing Rules & Standards Resolution from my condo Board. I am concerned with several of the requirements / statements made and would like to know if the Association can legally take the action stated. This Resolution also requires Owners to pay the Association a $200 "Leasing Registration Fee". The Declaration is silent on the issue of leasing / subleasing units, other than requiring the Owner to provide the Association with a copy of the lease.

1. Can the Association charge a fee to an Owner if they choose to rent their unit? Given the economy, people are choosing to rent their units rather than file for bankruptcy or allowing banks to foreclose, and the fee could represent a hardship based on each Owner's financial situation.

2. The Resoltuion states the Board can force an Owner to evict a tenant for any violation of the governing documents "... the Assocation may require the Owner to prosecute an eviction action against the tenant or occupant. The Association may give the Owner written notice of the violation and "demand" that the Owner take steps to cure teh violation. If the violation is not cured within 30 days, the Association may require the Owner to prosecute an eviction against the tenant or occupant. The Association may, in appropriate cases, seek injunctive relief to abate violations of these Rules and Standards." Does the Association have the authority to force an Owner to evict a tenant, regardless of what the tenant may be in violation of?

3. The Resolution further states that if an Owner is delinquent " ... the Asosciation may notify the tenant of delinquency and all rental payments under the lease shall be paid to the Association ...". It was my understanding from reading the Act that the Association could "ask" the tenant for their rent, but the Association needed to win a judgment against the Owner prior to collectin rent from the tenant.

4. The Resolution references a Leasing Registration Form and a Non-Owner Acknowledgement, but neither documents were provided with the Resolution. Should these have been provided with the Resolution?

It should be noted that the Association is taking a much more foreceful position in this Resolution against Owners who rent versus delinquent Owners. Delinquencies are over $200K and the Association has only taken legal action agains 4 Owners in the past 2 years.

While I do not currently rent my unit, I'm concerned that the Board has overstepped their autority on this issue. Any insight that can be provided would be appreciated.

Asked on 8/16/13, 8:11 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Miriam Jacobson Law Offices of Miriam N. Jacobson

You're kidding, right? A forum like this can't answer a complex question like yours.

Take the documents, all of them, to a lawyer, for review and advice. If you feel that the fee you'd be charged for legal services is too much to pay, just eat the cost of whatever penalties would be incurred by violations of the condo rules.


* If the answers to your question confirm that you have a valid issue or worthwhile claim, your next step should almost always be to establish a dialog with a lawyer who can provide specific advice to you. Contact a lawyer in your county or township.

* Another reason for contacting a lawyer is that it is often impossible to give a good answer in the Internet Q&A format without having more information. The unique circumstances of your situation and things that you may not have thought to mention in your question may completely change the answer. If you want to be sure that you have a complete answer to your question and an understanding of what that answer means, establish a connection with a lawyer who practices in the area of your concern.

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Answered on 8/16/13, 9:05 pm

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