18 January 2011
A: Your rental agreement should have a provision stating that the premises are part of a condominium project and are subject to CC&Rs. The rentalagreement should also state that the resident must comply with all rules and regulations of the condominium association, and further must comply with the CC&Rs.
A copy of the CC&Rs should be provided to the resident upon execution of the rental agreement. Provided the resident has been notified of the rules and regulations, and his actions have caused you to be fined, then he is responsible for reimbursement of the fine.
Q: While making some minor repairs to a resident’s apartment, I noticed that the tenant had illegally wired cable television into his unit. I’m no engineer, but I know a shoddy wiring and patch job when I see one.
The wires were hanging out of the wall, and it looked like the resident had simply pulled the wires out of the inside of the wall socket, and spliced them into his television. When I questioned him about it, he laughed and accused me of being intrusive.
Basically, the tenant claimed that how he procures cable is an issue between him and the cable company, and that as long as he pays his rent I should mind my own business. Is he right?
A: Your tenant is wrong on several levels. First, the tenant is committing a crime. Stealing cable television may not be the most heinous act a member of society can commit, but the frequency of an infraction doesn’t make it any less wrong.
Second, the resident is causing damage to the premises. The tenant is liable for any damage caused to the wall socket, the wall itself, and the wiring system.
Finally, if the tenant is given free license to start playing with the rest of the wiring in the unit, you may end up with a fire in the unit. In sum, the tenant should be given a firm warning that such conduct will not be tolerated in the complex. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the cable provider, and have them contact the tenant, to disconnect the cable signal to his apartment unit.
If the tenant ignores your warning, and provided the rental agreement has a clause prohibiting the resident from making alterations to the premises, a Three Day Notice to Cure Breach of Covenant or Quit may be served to require the tenant to return the premises to their original condition within 3 days. Failure to comply with the notice of breach will provide you with grounds to file an eviction action and remove the tenant.