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 owners lease with Tenant based on the Tenants 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 courts 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 lessees:
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, beingboisterous 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 Associations governing documents. Associations Bylaws contained the following provision
No nuisances shall be allowed on the Condominium Property nor shall any use orpractice be allowed which is a source of annoyance to residents or which interferes with the peaceful possession and proper use of the Condominium Property by its residents.
Similarly, Associations Rules and Regulations provided that,
No unit shall be used or occupied in such a manner as to obstruct or interfere with the enjoyment of other occupants of other units, or shall any nuisance or illegal activitybe committed or permitted to occur in or about any unit or any part of the commonelements of the condominium property.
In addition to the foregoing, Associations Declaration contained the following provision concerning leases:
Any lease or sublease of a Unit shall include a provision[s] (ii) that the lessee shalldesignate the Association as lessors agent to enforce compliance with the terms of the lease and the Condominium Documents, and (iii) that any violation of the Condominium Documents hall be a default under the lease. The Association shall have the right to terminate a lease upon thirty (30) days written notice should the lessee be in violation of the Condominium Documents.
Based on the foregoing provisions contained in the lease and Associations governing documents, Association was the condominium unit owners agent for purposes of enforcing the provisions of the lease and it had the right to terminate the lease upon thirty days written notice. When Tenant failed to move from the premises at the expiration of the thirty day period, Association had the right to proceed with a court action to evict Tenant without making the condominium owner a party to the action. Accordingly, the trial courts judgment was affirmed by the appellate court.
Louisiana Appellate Court Decision (December 19, 2018).
See case decision: 1205_St._Charles_Condo._Assoc._Inc._v._Abel_(La._App._2018)1