Are There Laws About Condo Leases?

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S.N. from New Haven County writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

Does CT law mandate that a certain amount of units must be allowed to be leased by owners if they so desire?  Can the rules be written to not allow units to be leased at all?

Mister Condo replies:

S.N., thank you for the question. As you know, I am not a lawyer so I cannot offer a specifically legal answer but I am not aware of any law in our state that allows condominium units to be leased as a provision of law. Rules and regulations on leasing are usually spelled out in the community’s documents and can be modified by the Board of Directors or a vote of all unit owners. Many condominium communities have very specific rules about leasing, including the exclusion of leasing. Some even require that prospective tenants be approved by the association before the lease is granted.

As for writing rules that specifically prohibit leasing, I suppose it is possible but I would caution against a blatant “no leasing” rule as a owner who wishes to lease could argue that his or her rights as an owner were violated when the community put the new rule in place. It would be more common to discourage the practice of leasing by putting rules in place that make leasing financially unattractive. Examples might be “move in / move out” fees, additional surcharge to the common fees for leased units, etc..

Either way, I would advise speaking with an attorney prior to implementing these rules. Even though there may not be any rules specific to condominiums about leasing, there is a higher authority (in this case, the Fair Housing Administration) to be answered to. I wouldn’t want your community to find itself on the wrong side of a discrimination lawsuit that could prove far more costly than allowing leasing in your community.

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