A.T. from Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I own one condo in a 150-unit community. There is a rule that states: “No unit shall be leased more than one time in any twelve-month period from the time of occupancy.” The intention of the rule is obvious.
Now, suppose a unit is rented for a three-month period and a new renter wants to rent on an ANNUAL basis beginning right after the three-month lease is complete. Is the rule too strict, does it need some phrase such as “with Board discretion” to allow for some Board leeway?
Mister Condo replies:
A.T., the Board is tasked with interpreting and enforcing the rules of the association. My guess is that you are correct in the intention of the rule but only the writers of the rule could explain why it is worded as it is. Modifying the rule is a function of the Board and, in some cases, a vote of the homeowners, depending on your governance documents. Changing rules requires a little research on your part but you could certainly contact the Board and provide the same scenario you shared here to get their opinion. If there is interest in changing the rule, the matter could be added to a future Board meeting agenda and voted upon. However, if there is no interest in changing the rule or the vote is unsuccessful, the rule stays. I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case as changing a rule on rentals or not enforcing a rule on could open the Board and the association up to challenges in the rental restrictions. For instance: “Why can’t I use AirBnB to rent my unit”, “Why can’t I rent to 4 different renters of three-month intervals”, and so on. Many Board would want to keep their rental restrictions in place because they are valid as is and no one can claim that the rules were changed after they purchased. Owner occupants, for instance, would typically prefer fewer renters in the community. Check with your Board and see what they say. Other than that, the rules may stay just as they are. Good luck!