Ask a real estate pro: Tenant must pay rent directly to condo board

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Board-certified real estate attorney Gary M. Singer answers housing questions in this space each Friday. To ask him a question about short sales, mortgages, refinancing, homeowner's associations or any other residential real estate topic, click here.

Q: I have received a notice from my condo association, saying I have to pay the rent directly to the board because my landlord is not paying the monthly assessments. My landlord told me that he will evict me if I pay the association instead of him. What should I do? – Bob

A: Pay the condo association the same rent that you are supposed to pay your landlord until the association tells you to begin paying the rent to your landlord again. Florida law provides condominium associations the right to collect the rent from tenants to pay delinquent assessments that the landlord/owner is not paying. The law also provides you with immunity from your landlord for doing this and also provides the association with the right to evict you if you do not pay up.

Any legal disagreement between your landlord and the association needs to be fought in court, and a judge will decide the matter. If your landlord attempts to take any action against you out of revenge for following the law, you will be able to sue him because both the association and the landlord have to respect your lease and your right to be left alone to enjoy your home.

Q: I own a condo in Tamarac with my son. There’s no mortgage, but he wants to take out a $25,000 line of credit.  He said I just need to sign the deed and will not be on any other paperwork. Will I be responsible for repaying the loan if he defaults? -- Shelley

A: As long as you don’t sign the promissory note, you have no obligation to repay the loan. But your ownership of the unit is in danger if your son does not pay back the loan. If this happens, you also will be sued in foreclosure so that the lender can take back the property. Even though you are not liable to repay the loan, just being sued can hurt your credit score.

The information and materials on this blog are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed, nor should any such relationship be implied. Nothing on this blog is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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