Court Says Homeowners Association Has Right to Evict an Owner’s Tenant for being a “Nuisance”

This case involved a dispute between a condominium homeowners association (“Association”) and a tenant of an owner/member of the Association (“Tenant”). Association sought to terminate the owner’s lease with Tenant based on the Tenant’s violation of several provisions contained in the written lease between the condominium owner and Tenant. When Tenant failed to vacate the subject premises upon expiration of the period stated in the termination notice, Association filed proceedings to evict Tenant.

After the trial court found that Tenant was correctly deemed a “nuisance” by Association and granted a judgment of eviction in favor of Association, Tenant appealed the trial court’s judgment.

Upon review, the appellate court looked to the terms of the lease between the owner and Tenant to determine what is considered “nuisance” behavior for which a tenant can be evicted The language in the lease stated a lessee would be in default of the lease for “other violations/nuisance[s],” and that a default could result from the lessee’s:

failure to maintain a standard behavior consistent with the consideration necessary to provide reasonable safety, peace and quiet to others, such as but not limited to, being boisterous or disorderly, creating undue noise, disturbance or nuisance of any nature…. or failure [sic] to abide by any Rules and Regulations… (emphasis added).

In the event of the foregoing, “Lessor shall have the right … to immediately cancel this lease and obtain possession of the premises.”

In addition to the provisions contained in the subject lease with Tenant, there were similar prohibitions from certain behaviors contained in Association’s governing documents. Association’s Bylaws contained the following provision:

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