Understanding the Legal Process of HOA Evictions: A Step-by-Step Guide

Understanding the Legal Process of HOA Evictions: A Step-by-Step Guide

Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the USA, and most federal laws pertain to this country, including legislation dealing with HOA evictions.

Only the owners of a property or another person with the right to be on the real estate property may institute an eviction. That means an HOA board cannot begin eviction proceedings against a homeowner.

They can, however, take steps that lead to the eviction of a homeowner's tenant. Read on to find out how this works and investigate the legal steps involved.

HOA's and Evictions

All HOAs run according to a set of CC&Rs, which are rules put in place to uphold the value and appeal of their community. All HOA residents must comply with these rules and contribute to the welfare of the community by paying their HOA fees.

Ensuring compliance with the CC&Rs is an important HOA responsibility, yet an HOA board cannot evict a homeowner or their tenant, regardless of how many times they break the rules.

How Can an HOA Board Enforce the CC&Rs?

There are a few ways that HOA boards can enforce compliance with the rules. These are:

  • Imposing fines on those who break the rules
  • Restricting access to shared amenities
  • Using HOA liens to recover outstanding fees and fines

An HOA lien is a legal claim against the property and can lead to an HOA foreclosure sale, which would result in the homeowner or their tenant being evicted. In this way, the HOA can also force a homeowner to evict their tenant in order to avoid foreclosure.

Legal Proceedings for HOA Evictions

The first step toward evicting a troublesome tenant is to approach the homeowner about any problems with their tenant. The homeowner may choose to evict the tenant if they don't correct their behavior.

If the homeowner doesn't take action against the tenant, the HOA board can issue a fine against their HOA property. If the tenant does not pay these fines, the landlord is liable for the payment.

In Puerto Rico, unpaid HOA fines can form part of an HOA lien against the property and ultimately lead to foreclosure.

The legal process for foreclosure in Puerto Rico is as follows:

  • The HOA board files a brief with the court
  • The homeowner has 30 days to pay the outstanding fines
  • If they don't comply, the court orders the sale of the home at auction

Foreclosure leads to the automatic eviction of the homeowner or tenant from the property. If an HOA homeowner wants to avoid foreclosure by evicting their tenant, they must follow this procedure:

  • The homeowner files for eviction at the municipal court
  • The court orders a hearing within 10 days
  • The judge hears the arguments and makes a decision

If the tenant does not challenge the eviction, they must vacate the home within 5 days, or the marshal will arrive to supervise their departure.

Stay Compliant with HOA Laws in Puerto Rico

HOA evictions are an unpleasant, time-consuming, and costly endeavor. PMI Central PR can help you avoid them altogether.

Our team of property managers has the skills and experience to help encourage compliance with the CC&Rs, ensure timely rent collections, and navigate the complexities of HOA laws.

Get in touch for assistance with managing your HOA community in Puerto Rico.