Dozens of Raleigh Residents to Lose Homes as HOA Enforces No-Rental Rule :: WRAL.com
Raleigh, North Carolina – Some residents of a south Raleigh community are suing the neighborhood homeowners association, claiming that HOA board members are abusing their power by trying to force long-time tenants out leave the area.
The covenants at Renaissance Park, near Tryon Road and South Wilmington Street, have always stated that landlords cannot rent out their properties except in a few specific situations. But residents say the rule was never enforced until an HOA board took over this year from Wakefield Development, which built the community in 2006.
“[T]the intention of the [covenants] for Renaissance since its inception, units must be owner occupied,” the council wrote in a June 3 letter to residents.
Fifteen to 20 percent of the approximately 1,000 homes in the HOA are currently rented. The council has given landlords until next July to end these existing leases and either move back in or sell the property. Violators could face fines of $100 per day.
“Honestly, I can’t say what the motivations are,” resident Ankur Gupta said Thursday.
With a growing family, including a baby due in January, Gupta said he wants to buy a second home in Renaissance Park and eventually rent out the one he currently occupies.
“We wanted to keep our options open.” he said. “I wanted it to be my choice, rather than a choice taken away from me.
“I paid for the house. I live there – I’ve lived there for a while – [so] it should be mine,” he added.
Gupta said residents have contacted council members dozens of times to discuss the matter without success, so they are working with a lawyer to have the members removed.
The HOA Board of Directors responded to requests for comment from WRAL News by issuing a statement through the neighborhood property management company.
“The goal of this council is to uphold community commitments in a fair and equitable manner for all members and to create reasonable expectations with an emphasis on long-term property value,” the statement read. . “We are not free to choose which parts of the commitment we wish to enforce and which we do not. It is our duty to enforce all of them.”
But the covenants state that the HOA “shall not be obligated to take any action to enforce any covenant, restriction, or rule.”
The board’s statement said residents could choose to change the restriction against rental properties, in accordance with the HOA’s bylaws.
“As written, the Rental Properties Clause was not created to completely prohibit all rental situations. It was written with the intent of limiting rental situations within the criteria set out in the clause” , the statement said, noting that the board has already approved one. “urgent request” for the continuation of the lease.
Still, some 180 tenants and their families say they now have less than nine months to leave Renaissance Park, and some say they don’t know where to go.
“I personally couldn’t afford to buy a house at the inflated rates that are going on right now,” Kayla Schoentube said.
Schoentube moved to the neighborhood after adopting her younger brother, saying she hoped it would be a stable home for him.
“It’s great for kids, so when I went up against my brother, I was, like, he can ride a bike here,” she said. “It could be a little devastating.”