“Can The Association Collect Tenant Rent From Section 8 Governmental Assistance Programs?
Most of us are aware that condominium and homeowner associations have the right to collect rents directly from tenants in the event that unit owners are behind in their maintenance obligations to the association. In fact, a recent amendment to the Condominium Act clarified that the obligation of tenants is not merely to pay the equivalent of monthly maintenance to the association, but instead to pay the entire monthly rent to the association until all maintenance obligations, including those in arrears, are paid in full to the association. However, there has been ongoing uncertainty as to whether an association can require a tenant who obtains Section 8 governmental rental assistance to have the Section 8 contributions be paid directly to the association after receipt of an appropriate demand.
On July 19, 2011, Palm Beach Circuit Judge John Hoy ruled that the West Palm Beach Housing Authority, which administers federal rent subsidy programs, was not exempt form a state law which allows condominium and homeowner associations to collect rents directly from tenants whose landlords are in arrears. It should be noted that this is a Circuit Court ruling (as opposed to an Appellate Court ruling), and therefore other judges in other circuits do not necessarily have to rule similarly. However, this ruling can be used as guidance by other judges in ruling on their cases, as well as encourage associations to seek the collection of Section 8 rents from local housing authorities in the event this situation is encountered.
Mr. Andrew Cuevas, Esq., is the President of Cuevas, Garcia & Torres, P.A., and oversees the Community Association Division of the firm. If you have any questions regarding this article or any other questions, you can contact Mr. Cuevas at (305) 461-9500 or at [email protected].
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