Can an HOA now enforce a rule that it has not enforced in 20 years?

My tenant has rented for 2 years with a lease. She now requested to remain on a month-to-month basis which is fine by me; she has never been a problem to me or the association. The association now requires a lease and insists that she sign a lease. It is in the documents but has not been enforced for 20 years. The recently elected board now wants to enforce this provision with the threat of large fines. So, (1) can they force a landlord/tenant to enter into a lease after original lease expires, and (2) can they enforce a rule or regulation that has never been enforced at all?

Asked on September 3, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The recorded covenants, conditions & restrictions of a planned unit development control the regulations of the unit subject to the recorded document in your situation assuming it was in effect when you purchased your unit.

If the directors of the association have not enforced the rule requiring all tenants renting a unit in the association covered by the recorded document for over twenty years, it can try to start enforcing the rule, but to as the landlord and the property owner could argue that the rule has been waived for the past twenty years by the association not enforcing it and you should not be required to adhere to it as others in the past were not required to abide by it.

You seem to have a factual basis from your question to refuse to have your tenant sign a new lease after the initial lease expires.

You should consult with an attorney experienced in planned unit developments for a clearer plan on how to respond to the demands upon you.

Good luck.

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