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My family recently purchased a 2 bedroom condo, with the plan being that I (their niece) would live there for a few years before their son would live there.
As a condo unit, we were under the assumption that it would be fine to have family members living there. But the managing agent is saying that I would have to be treated as a subleaser/tenant and am required to fill out a full lease application package, application fees, credit checks, recommendation letters, etc. etc.
Is there grounds for this?
Also, if this matters, the unit was purchased all-cash from the sponsor.
I would ask the managing agent. The managing agent would know the answer to this question.
(by the way, you aren't family, you are a niece, that isn't family, just a relative)
Read the deed. It'll say something like: "Grantee accepts and ratifies the provisions of the Declaration and the By-Laws (and any Rules and Regulations adopted under the By-Laws) and agrees to comply with all the terms and provisions thereof."
Now read the Condo Declaration and the By-Laws. They'll specify who can live in the unit, when.
It could be that the managing agent is misinterpreting the By-Laws, and you might be able to either convince them they're in error, or go to court.
Niece is no different than random person from the street. Niece is not family. Son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, father, wife.
2 bedroom condo only for one young woman? Must be nice. Oh, but it was bought for all cash from the sponsor.
WHatever the rules say is what goes.
But look at the protection side. To avoid fees, etc, everyone would just claim someone is a relative. Some of this is protective
Again, read the governing documents. Maybe the managing agent didn't. One condo I know of includes niece/nephew as "Family Member". Others may not. The Family Member may or may not be able to live there when the Unit Owner isn't in residence.
>One condo I know of includes niece/nephew as "Family Member".
Owner's brother's child or owner's sister's child? How would the by-laws be written to allow this?
My aunt and uncle are going over everything with the lawyer. In the meantime, say I do fill out an application, what is the likelihood I will be approved? My family is letting me live there for a very subsidized monthly "rent" which I can afford (I could not afford market rate).
How are your references?
Huntersburg, that's left undefined. Some things have to be, or the law would be no fun. E.g., "child" is qualified with "(natural or adopted)", but "niece/nephew" isn't.
I also assumed a niece wouldn't count, but there she is, along with grandparents, etc., in the Declaration I had handy.
you do realize that huntersburg is hfscomm1.
I'm not sure if I should be flattered or insulted.
Kna, why ask the managing agent. Just move in. The doorman does not know who the stuff belongs to when you move in. Visitors are allowed. No need to declare that you pay rent.
to ensure that the condo approves rather than using right of first refusal, if you need to fill out the application, make sure that the rent is high. you will be paying very low rent and one of the board members may say "Hey, I have a uncle who always wanted to live in the city and now he can for pennies."
once you are approved, you are paying your uncle not the board. it's none of their business.
this common for condos? this sounds like a co-op procedure
Yes, a condo has the right of first refusal on sales and rentals. The unit owner presents the contract or lease, together with whatever info about the buyer/tenant the condo "may reasonably require", and the condo has however much time to either waive the right, or buy/rent the unit itself, or come up with another buyer/renter on the same terms. The "reasonably require" clause can result in lots of lengthy back-and-forth, effectively killing the deal.
The scenario ab_11218 came up with is a good one. Say the niece's lease is for four years at $500 per month. The condo could rent the unit itself for the super, and rent out the super's apartment, making a tidy profit for the condo while the unit owner eats the loss. Not that that'd ever happen....
"this sounds like a co-op procedure"
Even most co-ops don't require all this bullshit if it's a family member living there, paying rent or not.
NWT: It probably would not ever happen.
The Board excercising their right of first refusal in condos for sales is rare.
For rental,it would be more trouble than it could possibly be worth.
Add in the building's super into it -- no way.
300_mercer: The doorman would tell the Board who is living there, so it would be best for the niece to get a P.O.Box for her mail because the mailman would tell the doorman that she is getting her mail there.
It's all BS, as Matt pointed out, anyway.
The apartment could probably rent on the market for $7K+/month.
I'm "renting" it from my aunt and uncle with a room mate. Together, my room mate and I would be paying $3,250/month.
The reason I'm hesitant about putting a high rent on the lease application is because they also are asking for our financial information, and our salaries/net worths are not enough to support paying over $3,250 a month, which I'm nervous would be grounds for rejecting our application.
kNA, as an alternative to putting down an artificially high rent on the lease, you can add provisions that makes it improbable that anyone other than a family member would want to take the lease. For example, the lease can include a provision that gives your uncle and aunt unlimited access to the apartment, or exclusive access to one of the bedrooms.
Are you sure the managing agent isn't just 'fishing' for a tip?
"The reason I'm hesitant about putting a high rent on the lease application is because they also are asking for our financial information, and our salaries/net worths are not enough to support paying over $3,250 a month, which I'm nervous would be grounds for rejecting our application."
CONDOS are not in a position to reject anybody based on their financials. If they opt to exercise their right of "first refusal" then the condo board itself better be ready themselves to cough up the $3250/month to the owner, who can then hand the money over to YOU to rent elsewhere.
i'm with AJC on this. provide a clause that will allow your uncle at least 1 weekend per month to take over the apartment and 1 month per year. otherwise, i can see the right of first refusal being used. someone always has someone who will be more than happy to stay in an apartment for 1/2 rent, even me :).
AJC55, good idea.
Truth, thinking "oh, it wouldn't be worth their trouble" is right up there with "It's just a lump; it'll go away" or "He'll change after we're married" as a set-up for a mess.
You're right that it's unlikely.
I'd be a bad condo-board member. I'd jump at the chance to rent the apartment for $3,250 and sublet it for $7,000. That's enough to pay for flowers for the lobby or something.
"I'd jump at the chance to rent the apartment for $3,250 and sublet it for $7,000"
That would be an illegal sublet.
NWT: They can try it, of course, but they wouldn't get far.
Enough for "flowers for the lobby" from the deli flower-stand and flowers from the florist delivered to every Board member's apt. lol!
We can send Mr. Snuffles over to investigate.
My aunt and uncle are going over the paperwork with the lawyer now. The by laws/declaration don't say anything about who can/cannot live in the unit so we don't understand why management is putting up so much of a fight. Right now, the board is only made up of one person: the sponsor.
If I end up having to fill out a full lease application (which I hope it doesn't come to), am I correct that the best method would be to state the correct rent my roommate and I can afford, with added provisions making it unlikely for another renter to agree to?
The Board is comprised of only one member -- and it's the sponsor?!
Mr. Snuffles will be right over!
Matt, right of first refusal means the condo itself can rent the unit if it matches the lease's terms. The unit owner's saying "Here's the prospective lease. Can you match it?" The board says "Yes, the condo can, and will." The condo can then sublet it to whomever it wants, at market rent. Not illegal at all.
The liability issues alone are enough to cause the Board not to excercise their right of first refusal.
This is really quite simple.
Tell them you decided not to rent it but will just live there with your relatives for free. Your relatives will come and go as they please. If you feel like gifting your relatives any money that is nothing to do with the condo.
Thank you, my bill is in the post :)
Well the dept of labor would include you. You could always say you are house sitting and an employee of the owner.
Who are considered family members?
Family is defined very broadly for Employment Standards purposes. Children, stepchildren, parents, grandparents, spouses, common law spouses, brothers, sisters, step-brothers, step-sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews are all considered family members. The definition also includes those who are not related, but are considered a family member.
Bingo. Your in!
Courts have not abided restrictive definitions of "family" which keep out certain types of families. For example, the definition of family may not be so restrictive as to exclude from its scope family members who are not expressly listed, such as cousins, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews. The United States Supreme Court, in Moore v. City of East Cleveland, 431 U.S. 494 (1977), held that, in keeping with due process, a zoning ordinance may not differentiate between relatives of varying degrees of kinship. In his lead opinion, Justice Powell commented that: "The tradition of uncles, aunts, cousins, and especially grand-parents sharing a household along with parents and children has roots equally venerable and equally deserving of constitutional recognition." 431 U.S. at 504. Due process, then, would seem to require that any such definition eliminate distinctions among familial degrees.
So to give you an update, our lawyer and my family reviewed the declaration and by-laws and there is NO restriction on who can occupy the unit. If the by-laws do not expressly limit/prohibit who can occupy, then there is no limitation/prohibition.
Our lawyer sent an email to the managing agent and the sponsor saying we expect to be granted unhindered access to the unit and yet they are STILL putting up a fight. So ridiculous.
Who's the management company? Any chance it's Cooper Square?