Residential Property Management/HOA Harrassement
We rent a privately owned condo with an HOA in San Jose California. The upstairs neighbor is an owner. He complained that our cigarette smoke is bothering him. We stopped for other reasons. We had an opportunity to go to a board meeting. The HOA committee said we are renters and have no rights, and all complaints must go to the owner and she can complain on our behalf about the owner upstairs being very noisy all hours. This complex has not adopted a non-smoking policy. More people smoke here than do not. Now the HOA manager is saying we have too many dogs. We have two. The owner is ok with it. The manager is a renter also. He keeps coming up with other complaints that have no backing. We fear he may have our vehicles towed for no reason or one he makes up. We have seen him do it to othersand brag about it. He has a God complex. We are professional people and business owners. We are not trouble makers, to old for that. What can we do?
The association is somewhat correct in that they do not have a direct relationship with you as a tenant. Your contractual obligation is between you (as tenant), or your condo owner (as landlord). Your landlord, as a condo owner, has the direct obligation to the association. All of this means that any complaints you have about your tenancy would normally go through your landlord, who in turn can go to the association if necessary. So, the bottom line is you would need to get your tenancy issues resolved through your landlord. Note that the association can enforce HOA rules directly against you for certain violations (such as parking and other things that involve the common areas). So, first thing I would do is ask your owner to get involved, particularly if they're interested in keeping you as a satisfied tenant. At the same time, you should ensure that you continue to obey all of the HOA rules (note that some HOA's do have pet restrictions).