Wha to do if I am living in a home that is in foreclosure and am paying the rent to owner but the HOA has a lien on the property for past due fees?

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Wha to do if I am living in a home that is in foreclosure and am paying the rent to owner but the HOA has a lien on the property for past due fees?

The HOA is telling me that I have to pay the rent to them. I have not been in contact with the landlord. I am afraid if I pay the HOA that the landlord will try to evict me. The hoa is foreclosing on the home and said it will stop the foreclosure if I send the money to them. I dont want to keep paying and get evicted. What is the best thing to do here; I currently have a lease.

Asked on August 28, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A HOA in Florida can collect rents from a tenant if the owner/landlord has not paid the HOA fees.  This is prescribed in Florida Statutes section 720.3085(8).

First, the HOA must send the following notice to the tenant:

 

"Pursuant to section 720.3085(8), Florida Statutes, we demand that you make your rent payments directly to the homeowners' association and continue doing so until the association notifies you otherwise.Payment due the homeowners' association may be in the same form as you paid your landlord and must be sent by United States mail or hand delivery to   (full address)  , payable to   (name)  .Your obligation to pay your rent to the association begins immediately, unless you have already paid rent to your landlord for the current period before receiving this notice. In that case, you must provide the association written proof of your payment within 14 days after receiving this notice and your obligation to pay rent to the association would then begin with the next rental period.Pursuant to section 720.3085(8), Florida Statutes, your payment of rent to the association gives you complete immunity from any claim for the rent by your landlord."

 

If you recieved this notice, then you must pay rent to the HOA.  Under this law, the landlord cannot evict you for sending rent to the HOA. 

If the HOA sent you this notice and you do not pay your rent to the HOA, the HOA can evict you from the property.  (section 720.3085(8)(d), but they cannot collect more than the amount you owe in rent (section 720.3085(8)(c)).

The HOA is required to notify the owner/landlord that they are taking this action and they are supposed to notify you when they have collected everything they are owed.  I hope they do this and they keep accurate records.

I am sorry this is happening to you and hope it does not turn out to be a mess.  Is the home in foreclosure by the landlord's bank?  If so, the landlord may have no motivation to bring the HOA fees current.  However, if the HOA is the only entity filing for foreclosure, the landlord would be well served to pay the HOA fees and make it all stop.  As a practical matter, you might want to call your landlord and tell him or her that a Florida lawyer told you that you have to pay your rent to the HOA.  If they promise to pay the HOA fees, make sure you verify with the HOA that they paid it because you are stuck in the middle of this.  

If you end up paying rent to the HOA and the landlord tries to evict you, write a letter to the court telling the court what happened.  You should not be evicted.  Be sure to keep records.

 

 


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