To live in the apartment building I reside in, a resident has to sign a Lease, and a document of Community Rules which are an "addendum" to that lease. Violation of the Community Rules counts as a violation of the Lease and thus a resident can be evicted for breaking them. The Lease states that it can only be terminated by (a) 30 days notice after the Initial Term of one year has expired, or (b) by a violation of the terms of the Lease (or Community Rules). The Community Rules "may be modified by the Board of Directors at any time". If the Board of Directors modify the community rules, I understand that residents have effectively already signed to agree to it.
The Lease and Community Rules never address the usage of The Front Door. The Front Door is locked outside of business hours, and requires a key to open from the outside, or can be opened by a button by anyone already inside the building. Each adult resident has a front door key. The Front Door, once opened, swings open slowly and remains open for around ten seconds before swinging slowly shut again.
The Former Building Manager requested residents not to open the door for "anyone who is not a resident", and never threatened leases over it. He was fired (for protesting a huge rent hike) and the New Building Manager has posted a sign on the door saying:
"do not open the door for ANY PERSON. Anyone caught on camera violating this rule can and will have Lease Termination Proceedings begin immediately".
There are two issues I see:
- Firstly, this rule is unreasonable, as "ANY PERSON" includes spouses, children, and "guests" (described and allowed in the Community Rules). It could also include any illegitimate person who loiters around The Front Door - if a resident opens the door for themselves, it will stay open for long enough for an illegitimate person to enter after the resident without the resident's consent or even knowledge.
- Secondly, I think this rule threatening Leases can not be legally enforced. Looking over our Lease, the only way a resident can be evicted is if they violate The Community Rules as written now or as modified by the Board of Directors. The new door rule threatening Leases is written only by the Building Manager, not the Board of Directors.
My questions are:
- Am I right in thinking this is non-enforceable as it is neither Lease, nor Community Rules, and it is (apparently*) not a Board of Directors modification to the Community Rules?
- Or is there any federal, state, or city rule which would allow management to terminate leases even without a violation of the Lease/Community Rules? (location is Greeley, Colorado, USA)
- If I or another resident are told we are being evicted due to this rule, to where can we appeal? (Other than the Board of Directors). A good answer will also note what processes involve lawyers and/or are expensive.
- Is threatening Leases over a rule that is non-enforceable actually illegal? As in, has the manager potential committed a criminal offense?
I realise management may terminate a lease with 30 days notice after the initial term has expired, so my question is only addressing threatened Leases still within their initial term (my own Lease is within its initial term until some time in 2019).
*Unless there is a loophole where the Building Manager represents the Board of Directors. If there is, I haven't seen evidence of it yet.
We know nothing about the Board of Directors other than that their name and logo is on the front of the Community Rules. Otherwise, there is no reference to them in our other paperwork.
Some of the apartment units, such as my own, are federally subsidised (20-50% of rent depending on income), but not all the apartments in the building are.