for landlords

Some investors labor under the misapprehension that leasing a condo is largely a matter of collecting rent checks and having tenants pay off their mortgage.   In reality, condos are not an entirely passive investment and, while the HOA Board will maintain the roofs, building shell, and common areas, all the interior maintenance and tenant relations still remain the responsibility of the unit owners.  Additionally, a number of non-resident owners expect the management company to take a larger role than is generally the case under most CC&R agreements.  The building manager does not service tenants or make unit repairs.  Any services provided to unit owners by the management company, under emergency or any other circumstances, are strictly a courtesy and DO NOT constitute either the Manager or the Board assuming responsibility for maintaining the owner’s individual unit or exclusive-use property.  Where, in an apartment complex, the manager has considerable authority to provide services and to enforce rules and regulations, in a condo, issues with tenants must be dealt with through the individual unit owners or their representatives.  Most absentee landlords find it necessary to hire an agent to manage their unit.

The ‘Resources’ page of this site lists a number of contacts for contractors and vendors who can perform various services.  The Board take no responsibility for, nor has any direct connection to, any of these suppliers.  Most are contractors who have provided good service to someone in the past; a few are vendors for the entire building.  The Board attempts to manage the list by removing any supplier reported to provide poor or over-priced services, but TAKES NO RESPONSIBILITY for any negative results.  Obviously, all owners should report any vendor who does not work out.

Much of the following is in the CC&R and Rules documents which should be consulted for the full versions.

The Board and the building manager have no contractual relationship with renters.  ANYTHING a tenant or their guests damage, any rules violations, any common ara issues become the responsibility of the owner.  All charges for damage and any fines will become an assessment against the owner of the unit.  Landlords would be well advised to have a clause in their leases to pass through any HOA costs or fines to the tenants.

There are several recurring issues relating to landlords:

New tenants are frequently not given the rules and other documents in a timely manner by their owners or the owner’s agents.  All leases must contain a clause wherein the new tenants agree to abide by the HOA rules.  Landlords are free to have additional rules, of course, but the HOA rules must be fully contained in any landlord rule set, and, while a landlord’s rules may be more restrictive (ie. no pets, etc), they cannot contramand any HOA official rules.  Leases must have a minimum one-year term; no short-term rentals, particularly AirBnB and similar sharing rentals, are strictly prohibited.   Businesses other than those of the primary resident are not allowed, any business must be approved by the HOA Board.  There is a request form available.  Leases must be submitted to the manager for approval prior to the move-in date.  Names and contact information of all residents must be provided prior to move in.  Tenants will then be placed on the email list for notices and updates.

Tenants must be instructed on security procedures, particularly in regard to keys and door codes.  Each resident has a unique door code which is issued by our code czar, Jeff Boland, . The code czar will also distribute the current alley gate, back door, garage door remote, and guest parking door codes.  Individual resident codes are not to be given to anyone else nor are they to be used by landlords; if residents require door access for their service workers, the code czar will issue special vendor codes on request.

The practice of giving a previous tenants’ codes to a a new tenant is not allowed, and any codes from former tenants will be cancelled as soon as they move.  As recently happened, an ex-tenants code was distributed to a new tenant who became locked out at 2:00 AM after the code and system ID had been removed.

Obviously, in order to prevent access issues for your tenants as well as comply with the standing rules, landlords must notify the manager at least four (4) days in advance of any new tenant moving in.  Failure to do so will result in a substantial fine against the unit owner.  If a landlord has their own code, this must not be distributed to the tenants, agents, or vendors.  Any codes improperly distributed will be cancelled.  The Watchman entry system maintains a record of who entered using which code.  While this practice may appear harsh, there have been cases of numerous realtors, vendors and residents all unknowingly using the same code with disasterous results that took weeks and several missed appointments and deliveries to sort out.

Instructions for setting up the Watchman EVO entry system app are in the maintenance page of this site.  Additional information is available on the Cellgate web site:

Doors may not be propped open by anyone unless a responsible person is minding the door.  A resident, vendor, mover, or guest who is found propping open an outside door will incur a $500 fine levied against the unit owner.

Residents must be shown the unit’s assigned parking slots.  Additionally, landlords must supply their tenants with the two guest parking ID cards that are to be placed on any cars in guest parking.  Without these, any guest cars found in guest parking may be towed.  Please refer to parking rules.  Parking spaces are assigned in the unit’s deed, but the physical space is individual use common property.  Assignments cannot be changed; spaces can be rented to other residents if not being used, but not to outsiders.

Unit modifications and renovations must be reviewed and approved by the Architectural Review Committee or the Board.  This is the same for all owners.  The guidelines are available in the rules document.  Owners should be aware that the local building department is very difficult to work with and several owners have been delayed for months attempting to pass inspections.  Renovations of substantial scope should be approached with deliberate caution.