Crime & Safety in Tampa>Question Details

Frankiea954, Real Estate Pro in Tampa, FL

Can an HOA legally deny a homeowner from renting to a sex offender? They're allowing a few sex offenders to move in and saying they can't

Asked by Frankiea954, Tampa, FL Mon Jul 4, 2011

deny them! They're allowing a few sex offenders to move in and saying they can't deny them!

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Answers

6
Hi Again,

Unfortunately some of the well known HOA attorneys in Tampa Bay are pretty much in the business of maximizing their legal fees and may not be necessarily looking out for the best interests of the Homeowner Association owners.

So, if your HOA Volunteer Board of Directors gets incorrect or bad advise from the Management Association's chosen attorney (often the BOD isn't wise enough to realize that the Mgmt firm and attorneys have too close of a relationship and go with the law firm recommended by the Property Mgmt firm).

So make sure to elect representatives to your Board of Directors that will truly look out for your bests interests and not the interests of the Management firm or the attorneys profitting from the Homeowners!

Also if your association has staggered terms for the board of directors, you may want to amend your rules to require that each director is up for election every year at the annual meeting. Otherwise the same board members can control all of the decisions by the board and it may be very difficult to recall a director who has a possibly unethical HOA attorney that wants to keep the attorney friendly board in place!

Good luck!
Alma
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 10, 2011
Hello Frankie,
As a mother and parent, I can say this concern is never far from my thoughts. There may be no more important concern than this one for a community and a family. Communities are communities because people want a wholesome place to bring up children. Families want to live in relative safety.

What I read here is first an educational issue.

Needless to say, it is very important to consult an HOA attorney on this - someone who specializes in HOA laws. As others have noted, the governing documents may not address your concern. You should also contact the local enforcement agency to see what resources and advice are available.

So, what can you do as individual or neighborhood? Are you powerless?

Never.

Protection and resources:
1) You likely can find news articles on any legal precedent.
2) Your local law enforcement is a resource. For instance in my state, the city of Centennial, CO will have an officer come talk to HOAs in Centennial. My town does this, too.
3) Your state legislature. Megan's Law came about through a grass roots effort. Every day people pressed for additional protection.
4) The most effective deterrent probably is the neighborhood. More eyes are more protection.

If you are still unsatisfied, you can consult law firms or a blog that specializes in laws pertaining to HOAs.

I also found these links in a Google search:
http://www.hoaleader.com/public/242.cfm
http://www.floridacondohoalawblog.com/archives.html
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/03/27/1336741/do-hoas-…

http://www.hoa-law.com/publications/aberrant-behavior-in-ass…
http://www.communityassociations.net/newsletters/Community%2…
http://www.justanswer.com/sip/hoa/real%20estate%20law?r=ppc%…

An issue like this undoubtedly has been researched by HOAs and lawmakers in your state. These are associations of HOAs:
http://www.condoassociation.com/blog/tabid/19257/Default.asp…
http://www.associationonline.com/
http://www.hoa-fl.com/AssociationBoards.aspx

I would encourage you to follow up with research and to inform your HOA of what you find. Our protection is a personal matter. As neighbors we can provide an extra blanket of security by being watchful. Talk to your neighbors. And keep talking to your HOA board.

Best,
SuZ
PML of Longmont
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 10, 2011
Hi Frankie,

You can change your governing documents and hopefully prevent predators and felons from being able to own or rent in your community. It may be a lot of work to collect signatures, etc. but ultimately will be worth it and may actually improve your property values. Attend the next board meeting and volunteer! Here's a very helpful website for HOA's and may help:

http://www.ccfj.net

All the best,
Alma
Alma Rose Kee, PA
Future Home Realty
Westchase Office
813.244.9898
http://www.SoldOnTampa.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 10, 2011
Frank if their rules and laws never covered this issue when they were ratified and recorded with the county then they have no other recourse but to allow!. You can look into amending the rules, but you will have to see in your bylaws how that would be done, if even that is allowed!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 9, 2011
Hi Frankie,

Some HOA in Tampa actually have specific restrictions for sexual offenders and felons.

What HOA are you in? Check your governing documents... if you don't have a copy, let me know, I can probably find them and email them to you. Alma@SoldOnTampa.com

All the best,
Alma
Alma Rose Kee, PA
Future Home Realty
Westchase Office
813.244.9898
http://www.SoldOnTampa.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 9, 2011
Unless there were restrictions on allowing rentals the HOA couldn't deny a homeowner from renting to someone. It's up to the homeowner to screen applicants and decide who should and shouldn't rent their home.

There may be some restrictions under city, county or state law regarding the numbers of sex offenders within one dwelling and perhaps distance from church and schools. But this wouldn't be the responsibility of the HOA to police such laws (if they exist).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 4, 2011
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