J.S. from Orange County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I lease a boat dock from our association which in turn has leased the boat dock property from the state of Florida. It is attached to my condo ownership. Now I am being told that I cannot rent my stall to another owner of a condo in my association. This is beyond reason because the value of every condo in our complex would be affected by this rule when trying to sell their property as many prospective owners want to know if there are boat docks available. Has Florida added a statute or rule about this? Thanks.
Mister Condo replies:
J.S., I am not an attorney and cannot advise you on any state laws regarding boat stall rental rights. However, the Board certainly has the right to limit or even refuse rental of the boat stalls based on use of common roads and areas to access the boat stall. Is this a new rule or was it in place when you purchased your condo? If it was in place when you purchased, there may be little you can do about it. However, if the rule were added after you purchased, you may be able to claim a grandfathering exception because the rule wasn’t in place when you purchased your unit and you are claiming that the rule is costing you money because you planned on renting the boat stall when you purchased as there was no rule against doing so at that time. That being said, you could be facing a legal battle that could get expensive and not go your way in the end. My advice is for you to get an attorney’s opinion on the matter and decide if it is worth fighting. Other than that, you might want to sell your unit to someone who will simply use the boat stall versus renting it. Clearly, the Board wants the stall used only by owners and that may actually be stipulated in the condo docs, in which case, you may not have any right to rent your stall. I am not sure that I agree with your argument that refusing to allow stall rentals lowers property values. In fact, it may just increase the value of purchasing as it is the only way to get a stall at this association. Either way, talk to an attorney and decide what is in your best interest. Good luck!