Lease Policy & Restrictions

RULES AND PROCEDURES FOR LEASING OF PROPERTIES IN WESTCHESTER LAKES HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION

Purpose

  1. To protect the equity of the individual Owners and to carry out the purpose for which the Association was formed by preserving the character of Westchester Lakes as a homogeneous residential community of predominantly owner-occupied homes, while recognizing the occasional need for an Owner to rent out a property on a temporary basis due to uncontrollable or unforeseen circumstances.

Governing Authority

  1. Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions of Westchester Lakes, Article IX, §21, ¶A: “The Board shall have the authority to make and enforce reasonable Rules and Regulations regarding the restrictions for leasing, sub-leasing, and renting, including definitions, and the grounds for temporary exceptions to the said restrictions, along with the right to impose fines constituting a lien upon the Lot being leased.”

Definitions

  1. “Application” shall mean an application and Lease submitted by an Owner for approval by the Board.
  2. “Association”: shall mean and refer to the Westchester Lakes Homeowners Association, Inc.
  3. “Board”: shall mean and refer to the Board of Directors of the Westchester Lakes Homeowners Association, Inc.
  4. “Bylaws”: shall mean and refer to the Bylaws of the Westchester Lakes Homeowners Association, Inc.
  5. “Declaration”: shall mean and refer to the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions of the Westchester Lakes Homeowners Association, Inc. recorded in the public records of Rockdale County at Deed Book ______, Page _______.
  6. “Designate”: shall mean and refer to one person who is granted the right to communicate and engage in negotiations or other matters with the HOA, on behalf of the Owner, as listed on the signed Designate Form.
  7. “HOA”: shall mean and refer to the Owners, Officers, Board of Directors, and Employees and/or designates of the Westchester Lakes Homeowners Association, Inc.
  8. “Lease” shall mean any lease of a Lot which is governed by the Declaration.
  9. “Lessee”: shall mean and refer to the intended party or parties listed in proposed lease that will engage in the leasing or renting of the Real Property and/or Lot of an Owner of the Westchester Lakes Homeowners Association, Inc. for some consideration for some period of time, as provided in the proposed lease document. After lease execution, “Lessee” will refer to the party or parties that are engaged in the leasing or rental of a property within the HOA.
  10. “Lessor”: shall mean and refer to the Owner(s) or official designated person who will assume full responsibility for the lease terms, as well as assume full responsibility for adherence to the Declaration, Bylaws of the HOA, and the laws and ordinances of the State of Georgia and Rockdale County. This person must also have full Power of Attorney of the Lot.
    1. *Please note that a separate Lessor is not necessary, and is at the discretion of the Owner; the Owner can and does serve as Lessor if they directly manage and maintain the lease agreement for the Lot.
  11. “Lot”: shall mean and refer to any plot of land (with the exception of the Common Area and any and all property now or hereafter located within the right of-way of any public street or road) shown upon a “Plat” (as that term is defined herein), and any subsequent amendment thereto or replacement thereof. For purposes of Articles VII and IX, “Lot” shall also mean and refer to, in addition to the foregoing, the property located between the Lot and the Lot side of the curb of the road within the right-of-way adjacent to which such Lot is located.
  12. “Officers”: shall mean and refer to the Officers of the Board of Directors of the Westchester Lakes Homeowners Association, Inc., as listed with the Secretary of State of the State of Georgia.
  13. “Owner”: shall mean and refer to the record title owner, whether one or more persons or entities, of a fee simple title to any “Affiliated Lot” or “Affiliated Dwelling Unit” (as those terms are described herein), but excluding those persons or entities having an interest therein merely as security for the performance of an obligation. “Affiliated Lot” shall mean and refer to any plot of land (with the exception of any and all property located within the right-of-way of any public street or road) which (i) is shown on any subdivision plat of the Additional Property, or any portion or portions thereof, heretofore or hereafter recorded in the Rockdale County, Georgia public records, (ii) is not subjected to this Declaration, and (iii) is subjected to other covenants, conditions and restrictions which expressly provide that such plot of land is an “Affiliated Lot” as defined in this Declaration. Declarant may by one of more writings recorded in the Rockdale County, Georgia public records specify one or more portions of the Additional Property which shall never contain Affiliated Lots. “Affiliated Dwelling Unit” shall mean and refer to (a) any permanent, permitted improvement or structure intended for use as a single-family residence which is built upon an Affiliated Lot and for which a certificate of occupancy has been issued, together with (b) the applicable Affiliated Lot upon which such residence was built.

Leasing Regulations

  1. There is no minimum lease term per Application.
  2. The maximum lease term per Application is (1) year.
    1. Lease Applications must be resubmitted to the Board each year for Board approval.
    2. The Board reserves the right to grant exclusions to the maximum lease term, on a case by case basis should it find cause, and at its sole and absolute discretion as determined by a majority vote.
  3. No more than a total of seventeen (17) Applications will be approved per the leasing restrictions set forth in the Declaration.
    1. Applications will be processed and considered by the Board in the order that they are received.
    2. The Board shall record the date and time Applications are received. (Owners are encouraged to submit documentation electronically for the most expedient processing; all Applications sent via postal or courier, are advised to be sent with postmark or sending date and time clearly noted.)
  4. The following are the hardship exceptions that the Board will consider as grounds for approving a leasing Application:
    1. Active military deployment,
    2. Terminal illness, or recent death of Owner or immediate family member, requiring temporary relocation or vacating of the property
    3. A property that has been actively listed for sale by a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Georgia for a period of three (3) or more years without having been sold; provided that all reasonable attempts have been made to list and sell the home, as determined by the Board.
    4. *For leases initiating in the year 2016, any Owner who was given prior documented approval by the Board to lease/rent their property before August 1, 2015, and is currently still engaged in the same or subsequent leases to the same Lessee shall be given approval consideration, so long as the terms of the Declaration have not been violated. The Board may also make an exception to the maximum/minimum lease terms as to these Leases, at its sole discretion, on a case by case basis; including, without limitation, extending the maturity date through August 30, 2017.
    5. **For leases initiating in the year 2016 solely, any Owner who submitted their lease documents to the Board by August 15, 2015, regardless of prior approval, will be given approval consideration per the terms of the lease submitted. The maximum period for rental approval will not extend beyond one (1) year, with a maturity date through August 30, 2017.
    6. The Board reserves the right to modify these requirements on an annual basis, should the need for such change arise.
  5. All leases are subject to the strict terms of the Declaration. If Owner, Lessor, or Lessee fails to adhere to the terms of the Declaration or the laws and ordinances of the State of Georgia, and Rockdale County, then the lease agreement, lease, and approval are immediately null and void, and considered a violation of the Declaration.
    1. Remedies for violation of these agreements are contained with Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions of Westchester Lakes, Article IX, §21.

Approval Terms:

  1. Approved rentals are subject to a $45 annual fee.
  2. Applications must be submitted solely by an Owner directly to the Board, and must be in good standing with the HOA.
    1. Any Owner with an outstanding financial obligation to the HOA shall not be eligible for approval.
    2. If a lease has been approved and executed, and an Owner becomes subsequently delinquent, then all sums owed to the HOA shall become immediately due, and payable by the Lessee, per the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions of Westchester Lakes, Article IX, §21, ¶ C, subsection (c). Failure to pay within thirty (30) days shall constitute a Lease default and shall entitle the Board to initiate dispossessory proceedings against Lessee.
  3. All lease approvals are guaranteed for a lease term of one (1) year from the proposed date of lease start. The Board in its authority, may require the lease start and end dates to be changed at its discretion.
  4. All lease approvals are for leases that have been executed by the designated Lessee and Lessor as indicated within the lease terms. Should the lease be terminated by either party in advance of the lease end date, the Lessor is required to notify the Board in writing of such change within fifteen (15) days of the termination date,. In the event that there is an early termination of the lease approved by the Board, the approval becomes null and void on the date of the lease termination; re-leasing or initiation of a new lease with a new intended Lessee will require a new Application to the Board for approval.
  5. Lessors must provide accurate, up to date, contact information for both parties (Lessor and Lessee), and must respond to all HOA requests within ten (10) days of initial contact. Non-communication or failure to adhere to these terms may result in the revocation of lease approval.
  6. The Board reserves the right to revoke approval at any time should the terms of this agreement be violated, or any stipulation within the Declaration or Bylaws be violated with reasonable opportunity to remedy violation having expired, or timing of remedy as prescribed by Declaration having lapsed.
  7. Upon conveyance of the real property or Lot under the approval agreement to another (including through foreclosure or tax sale), the approval is null and void.
  8. The Board reserves the right to modify the approval terms or process at its sole discretion on an annual basis.

Leases

  1. All Leases must include all the terms as specified under Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions of Westchester Lakes, Article IX, §21, ¶ C. These terms are incorporated into all Leases whether expressly included therein or not.
  2. Owners and/or Lessors are required to provide prospective and approved Lessees with a copy of the Declarations and Bylaws:
    1. Signed acknowledgement and lease approval forms (as provided in §7, ¶ B) must be issued to the Board upon lease commencement, after approval is granted.

Application

  1. Prior to lease engagement, Owner shall submit an Application to the Board via email, mail, or web form at least forty-five (45) days prior to the proposed lease commencement date, to include the following information and/or documents:
  2. Signed Application Form (provided by the Board; can be requested by contacting the Board, or by visiting the website: westchesterlakes.net).
  3. Proposed lease document, including the full names of all parties to the lease agreements, and all stipulations, disclosures, and terms.
  4. Evidentiary documentation of hardship exception for lease approval (i.e. prior approval letter or related document; military deployment orders or notice, death certificate, etc.).
  5. Lease Application Fee (we accept checks, credit/debit cards, and PayPal).
    1. Please note that applications will be considered complete only when payment is received.
  6. Board will approve, reject, or approve with amendment each Application within thirty (30) days of its receipt, with an effort to act on each Application as soon as possible. In the absence of a final determination or vote within such thirty (30) day period, then the Application shall be deemed to be rejected.
  7. In the event of Lease approval by the Board, Owner shall submit the following documentation to the Board within ten (10) days:
  8. Signed and executed lease agreement, including all signed and executed riders and disclosures,
  9. Full contact information for Lessor and Lessee,
  10. Signed Designate Form (available on westchesterlakes.net; or by contacting the HOA for a copy),
  11. Acknowledgement of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions Form, signed by Lessee, and countersigned by the Lessor (available on westchesterlakes.net; or by contacting the HOA for a copy),
  12. A copy of this document (Rules and Procedures for Leasing of Properties in Westchester Lakes Homeowner Association), signed by both Lessee and Lessor.
  13. *Optional: Signed and Notarized Lessor Designation ( a signed document that allows for full control of the rights of the Owner to one other person in all matters with the HOA, as well as provide for Power of Attorney for the Lot; this form is not necessary if the Owner will serve as Lessor for the property).
  14. The Board will provide an approval notice, signed and sealed by an Officer(s).
    1. All records and documents will be maintained by the Board and subject to review by the HOA, per the limitations of the Declaration.

Conflicts

  1. In case of any conflict between these Rules and Procedures, By-Laws and the Declaration, the Declaration shall control.

HOA Declaration

  1. All Lessees are subject to the full Declaration, and are bound to its rules, in same effect as all Owners.
  2. All Leases are bound by and subordinate to the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions of Westchester Lakes, Article IX, §21; including the following provisions:
    1. For the purpose of enforcement the provisions of this Section, which shall be incorporated in the provisions of any leases of Lot, each Owner, by acceptance of a deed or other conveyance of a Lot, here by irrevocably appoints the Association, which may act by any one if its authorized offices, as his attorney-in-fact, to enforce said provisions and to take action, at laws or equity, which could be taken by said Owner against the Lessee should Lessee default in performance under the lease agreement. Each Owner herby further acknowledges that his power of attorney shall only apply in the event of noncompliance by a Lessee with the provisions of article IX, Section 21, of this Declaration, and that the Association, its Board of Directors, employees and agents shall be held harmless by each Owner in exercising the power of attorney herein granted to the Association.
    2. EXPENSES OF EVICTION. In the event the Association proceeds to evict the Lessee, any costs, including attorney’s fees actually incurred, and court costs, associated with eviction shall be specifically assessed against the Lot, becoming a lien thereon subject to enforcement in accordance with Article V of this Declaration, and shall become the personal obligation of the Owner thereof, such being deemed hereby as an expense which benefits the Lot and the Owners thereof.
    3. RIGHTS OF LESSEE. Any Lessee charged with violation of the Declaration, Bylaws, or rules and regulations is entitled to the same rights to which the Owner is entitled as provided in the Association’s Bylaws